Can Augmented Reality Help Pedestrians Safely Cross Multiple Lanes of Traffic?
Assistive technology offers a potential means of improving road safety for pedestrians. One type of assistive technology is the use of augmented reality (AR) displays to convey relevant traffic information to pedestrians. AR displays can overlay graphics on the roadway to visually indicate which gaps between vehicles are safe and unsafe to cross. The aim of this project is to evaluate whether AR displays that offer road-crossing guidance about crossable vs. uncrossable gaps will help pedestrians make safer crossing decisions when crossing two lanes of opposing traffic. Crossing multiple lanes of opposing cross-traffic is a considerably more challenging task than crossing a single lane, due to the fact that the pedestrian must select a pair of gaps composed of a near lane gap and a far lane gap that in combination afford safe crossing. Participants in this study will perform a road-crossing task in a head-mounted virtual reality system in which they repeatedly cross two streams of continuous stream of traffic coming from opposing directions comprised of crossable and uncrossable gaps. AR technology will be implemented by placing visual overlays directly onto the virtual environment that inform pedestrians about whether a pair of gaps in the near and far lane are safe or unsafe to cross. Such overlays could be displayed by AR glasses in the real world. We expect that pedestrians will comply with the overlays and will choose safer pairs of gaps to cross when AR overlays are displayed.