Internship | Predicting lane changes by identifying cues of implicit communication



Education type


Internship and graduation project

Hours a week

Fulltime – 40


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What will be your role?

The introduction of Automated Vehicles (AVs) leads to mixed traffic on the road, consisting of AVs, human drivers and vulnerable road users (VRUs). To maintain the same level of safety, it’s important that all players in this social system adhere to the same rules. In addition to formal traffic rules, a significant part of these rules consist of implicit norms describing how to behave on the road. At TNO, we are investigating how human drivers communicate, so we can teach AVs to blend seamlessly in a world with human drivers. Do you want to contribute to this research? Please read further!

Driving safely in a dynamic environment includes anticipating the actions of other drivers. Providing and acting upon appropriate cues is especially important in dense traffic, where gaps between cars are small and drivers need to respond fast to changes in the environment.

Communicating the intention to change lanes is driven by social conventions. Although a large part of the communication is done via explicit channels, such as indicator lights, implicit communication plays a major role. The way the vehicle behaves prior to a lane change, such as decelerating and aligning next to a gap, is expected to be of significant impact on the interpretation of the maneuver and the cooperation of other traffic. To drive in a social acceptable way, the AV needs to show the intention of a merge to other road users in a similar way as human drivers. The timing of sending explicit and implicit signals are believed to be very important in these social interactions. TNO is setting up a study to identify these cues in the early stage of a lane change and you can contribute to this state-of-the art research!

In this MSc-level Internship you will help to prepare a study to investigate driver communication and prediction. Depending on your own progress, you will work on the following:
  • Literature review of the state-of-the art lane change recognition by human drivers.
  • Find appropriate lane-change scenarios to analyze human driver cues in already collected data.
  • Select video fragments and create a tool to show these movies in a user friendly way.
  • Analyze lane change recognition cues in these scenarios.•Help with the execution of the lane change recognition study

If the internship is successful and the candidate so desires, the work could be extended into a formal MSc thesis.

How do you want to contribute to tomorrow's world? How big can your impact be? Come and work at TNO and envision it.

What we expect from you

We require you to be familiar with MATLAB and/or Python. You are knowledgeable in Human Factors and/or Data Science or are willing to learn. We would like you to start as soon as possible. We require you to work in Helmond at the TNO offices at least 2 day a week to enable you to work with our tools and to have short communication lines.

What can you expect of your work situation?

You will work at the Integrated Vehicle Safety department of TNO on the Automotive Campus in Helmond. In this department people are working on development and assessment of automated driving vehicles. The developed software solutions are tested in simulation, on test tracks and on the public road. (more info on the department: ). The people are young, enthusiastic and driven. You will work in an open area, within your own team. One of our employees will be your mentor, and will help you to get acquainted with the department and give you guidelines for your research in order to help you to get the best out of it.

What you’ll get in return

You want to work on the precursor of your career; a work placement gives you an opportunity to take a good look at your prospective future employer. TNO goes a step further. It’s not just looking that interests us; you and your knowledge are essential to our innovation. That’s why we attach a great deal of value to your personal and professional development. You will, of course, be properly supervised during your work placement and be given the scope for you to get the best out of yourself. Naturally, we provide suitable work placement compensation.

TNO as an employer

At TNO, we innovate for a healthier, safer and more sustainable life. And for a strong economy. Since 1932, we have been making knowledge and technology available for the common good. We find each other in wonder and ingenuity. We are driven to push boundaries. There is all the space and support for your talent and ambition. You work with people who will challenge you: who inspire you and want to learn from you. Our state-of-the-art facilities are there to realize your vision. What you do at TNO matters: impact makes the difference. Because with every innovation you contribute to tomorrow’s world. Read more about TNO as an employer.

The selection process

After the first CV selection, the application process will be conducted by the concerning department. TNO will provide a suitable internship agreement. If you have any questions about this vacancy, you can contact the contact person mentioned below.

Due to Covid-19 and the consequent uncertainties and restrictions, students who are not residing in the Netherlands may currently not be able to start an internship or graduation project at TNO.

Has this job opening sparked your interest?

Then we’d like to hear from you! Please contact us for more information about the job or the selection process. To apply, please upload your CV and covering letter using the ‘apply now’ button.

Contact: Marijke Weperen, van
Phone number: [email protected]

Note that applications via email and third party applications are not taken into consideration.


Apply now



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