About the research
Statistics on work zones indicates that 22,276 people have been injured and 700 people have been killed in 2015. The enormity of these losses in life is almost impossible to comprehend. Transportation-related organizations invest significant resources to collect and analyze data on these phenomena and then develop and implement public awareness campaigns in order drastically reduce the magnitude of these losses. However, enhancing public awareness and acquiring public understanding and support for changes in transportation-related policies or to the introduction of new infrastructure projects is challenging.
The most common measures to enhance awareness and gain public feedback are presenting proposed changes and the intended infrastructure in public hearings, and collecting public perceptions through surveys. More advanced efforts include presenting various forms of media (e.g., videos), which allow the public to gain a glimpse into “what things will look like.” However, these measures will usually fall short in conveying messages beyond simply visualizing the topic under discussion.
Recent advancements in virtual reality (VR) technology and computational capacity provide a unique opportunity to expose the public to information in ways that allow them to interact with the items under discussion and observe the implication of the interaction first-hand. Thus, collecting data from the public following interaction with VR technologies that introduce experience in fully immersive, full-scale, 3D environment may yield high utility. This research will pursue the development of a highly interactive, 3D VR simulation of Workzone and to evaluate the effectiveness the simulation had on subjects’ safe driving practices and awareness to risks in to workzones