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Exploring the Influence of Simulated Road Environments on Cyclist Behavior

Jing Xu, Yingzi Lin, David Schmidt
I17-03
This article is referenced in HAL

The International Journal of Virtual Reality, 2017, 17 (03): 15-26

Abstract

An increasing number of people are realiz- ing the advantages of bicycling, which has caused bicy- clist safety concerns and awareness to rise accordingly. This study aims to investigate the capability of combin- ing Virtual Reality technology and bicycle simulation for bicyclist behavior studies. An immersive interactive bi- cycle simulation was developed to explore how subject performance is influenced by virtual road environments through a well-controlled experiment with Oculus Rift headset. 30 people from 18-25 years old were chosen to be subjects, as they are in the highest injury rate per- centile. Results showed that the existence of bike lanes influences cyclist reactions, causing earlier and more braking to occur. Road hazard simulation and “Distance to Brake to Stop” measurement can provide useful in- sight into individual cyclist reactions to different types of road hazards. This study has provided evidence that given the nature of cycling on roads, virtual reality tech- nology can serve as both a safe and effective method to conduct more in-depth behavior studies.

Keywords

bicycle simulation,  oculus rift,  hazards reaction,  bicyclist safety,  user perfor- mance

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