Pedestrian Safety: Time-to-Contact Studies.

Perception of moving objects in desktop and immersive VR to improve pedestrian safety

Project Description

This work represents newer research. Each year, thousands of pedestrians are injured or killed in traffic accidents. Identifying pedestrians' perceptual capabilities for street crossing decisions is an important problem. We examine this issue by seeking to understand people's time-to-contact judgments for short-range to long-range times-to-contact in a desktop environment. We conducted two experiments showing subjects videos of a car moving down a road toward the viewer. The first experiment observed subjects' ability to discriminate between two different time-to-contact values. The second experiment measured subjects' absolute time-to-contact estimates. We found subjects to be accurate at both discriminating and estimating time-to-contact in a desktop environment. However, performance worsens at longer time ranges, those that pedestrians typically use in street-crossing decisions. Our discrimination thresholds are consistent with other time-to-contact work, and thus illustrate that desktop environments are plausible settings to use for time-to-contact studies.


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Bobby Bodenheimer