If a dangerous situation occurs on the road, nonverbal signs, such as gestures or eye contact, help road users to communicate and avoide accidents. The ability of humans to communicate in nonverbal form poses a major challenge to automated vehicles. This raises the question of what future communication between (partially) automated road users and weaker road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and non-automated vehicles could look like?

Objectives and approach 

INITIATIVE stands for intelligent man-machine communication in mixed traffic (German: INtellIgenTe Mensch-Technik KommunIkATIon im gemischten VErkehr). The project aims to develop and implement AI-based communication to integrate automated vehicles in mixed traffic scenarios. The goal is to equip automated vehicles with communication interfaces for external road users (external HMI) and for occupants of the vehicle (internal HMI).

To ensure the success of the communication process, information needs to be interpreted and synchronized for all traffic participants. For the synchronization process  relevant road users need to be identified and their intentions predicted in order to be able to transmit appropriate signals in the context of the overall traffic scenario.

The behavior of the road users should be monitored iteratively and signals should be adapted in real time accordingly. To identify relevant participants within a communication, scientist plan to access metadata from a networked infrastructure. AI methods will be used to synchronize signals, detect the intentions of communication participants, and preselect relevant road users.

Is there data protection in the data flow? Limitations of AI-based communication

What information can infrastructure provide to the vehicle? How should the information, data collected by cameras for example, be processed in compliance with current data protection laws? What information is needed? are the key questions considered by the Institute for Legal Informatics. The project further investigates whether existing regulations ensure the protection of transferred data sufficiently and where there is a need for further development of the legal framework. In addition, it is investigating who is liable in the event of an accident caused by faulty data (processing).

Project Manager 

Chair for Civil Law, Legal Informatics, German and international Business Law and Legal Theory (Prof. Dr. Georg Borges)

Contact Person 

Elisabeth Friedel (Mail)

Research Assistant 

Puria Sheikhipour (Mail)

Project Partner 

Project Partner Germany 

Electric Special Photronicsysteme GmbH, Oldenburg
Embeteco GmbH, Oldenburg (im Unterauftrag)
Fraunhofer Institut für Optronik, Systemtechnik und Bildauswertung (IOSB), Karlsruhe
HELLA GmbH & Co. KGaA, Lippstadt
Karlsruher Institut für Technologie: Institut für Regelungs- und Steuerungssysteme (KIT-IRS)
KIT Lichttechnisches Institut (LTI), Karlsruhe
Version1 GmbH, Karlsruhe
Würzburger Institut für Verkehrswissenschaften (WIVW) GmbH, Veitshöchheim
Daimler AG, Stuttgart (Associated)

Project Duration 

April 2021 – March 2024

BMAS: ExamAI – KI Testing & Auditing

In the BMAS (Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs) project "ExamAI" Professor Borges' chair develops concepts for auditing and certification of AI applications. Further information: ExamAI


Legal Testbed

The chair of Prof. Borges is developing solutions for Industry 4.0 through the project "Recht-Testbed Industrie 4.0" funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi). More...


As part of the »INITIATIVE« project Professor Borges' team is working on AI-supported communication for autonomous vehicles in traffic. Click here to learn more...

Copyright © 2024 Institute for Legal Informatics.

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.