Professor Andrew Morris - Design and Creative Arts

A new international research centre – led by the University – is investigating the safety of vulnerable road users (VRU) as driverless cars – or connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) – become more prevalent.

VRU account for 59% of those killed or seriously injured in road traffic accidents. The rapid introduction of CAV could increase this number and certainly raises new technical and ethical challenges for manufacturers and regulators.

ICAROS (International Research Centre to Investigate the Effects of Vehicle Automation on Vulnerable Road Users) – part-funded by Research England – aligns Loughborough’s world-leading expertise with that of Queensland University of Technology and Tongji University.

Researchers – including a dozen PhD students across the three universities – are gathering global accident data, the results of experimental trials as well as the findings of road user questionnaires and focus groups.

This will be used to address issues around future mobility systems; CAV design that protects VRU, including passengers; and the development of systems that ensure safe interactions between CAV and VRU.

The data and findings will then be available to the motor industry and presented at a series of seminars and an international conference in 2023 – in a bid to drive future road safety.

Find out more about the project.


  • Queensland University of Technology, Australia
  • Tongji University, China