Development and evaluation of a virtual environment to assess cycling hazard perception skills

van Paridon, Kjell N. and Sadeghi Esfahlani, Shabnam and Timmis, Matthew A. (2021) Development and evaluation of a virtual environment to assess cycling hazard perception skills. Sensors, 21 (16). p. 5499. ISSN 1424-8220

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Safe cycling requires situational awareness to identify and perceive hazards in the environment to react to and avoid dangerous situations. Concurrently, tending to external distractions leads to a failure to identify hazards or to respond appropriately in a time-constrained manner. Hazard perception training can enhance the ability to identify and react to potential dangers while cycling. Although cycling on the road in the presence of driving cars provides an excellent opportunity to develop and evaluate hazard perception skills, there are obvious ethical and practical risks, requiring extensive resources to facilitate safety, particularly when involving children. Therefore, we developed a Cycling and Hazard Perception virtual reality (VR) simulator (CHP-VR simulator) to create a safe environment where hazard perception can be evaluated and/or trained in a real-time setting. The player interacts in the virtual environment through a stationary bike, where sensors on the bike transfer the player’s position and actions (speed and road positioning) into the virtual environment. A VR headset provides a real-world experience for the player, and a procedural content generation (PCG) algorithm enables the generation of playable artifacts. Pilot data using experienced adult cyclists was collected to develop and evaluate the VR simulator through measuring gaze behavior, both in VR and in situ. A comparable scene (cycling past a parked bus) in VR and in situ was used. In this scenario, cyclists fixated 20% longer at the bus in VR compared to in situ. However, limited agreement identified that the mean differences fell within 95% confidence intervals. The observed differences were likely attributed to a lower number of concurrently appearing elements (i.e., cars) in the VR environment compared with in situ. Future work will explore feasibility testing in young children by increasing assets and incorporating a game scoring system to direct attention to overt and covert hazards.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Virtual Reality, Serious Video Game, Visual Search, Cycling & Hazard Perception
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Engineering
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2021 09:06
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2022 10:05

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