Investigators

Siby Samuel
University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Industrial Engineering
Eleni Christofa
University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Civil Engineering
Michael A. Knodler, Jr., Ph.D
University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Civil Engineering

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Project

Integrating Traffic Control Devices via Augmented Reality

Traffic Control Devices (TCD’s) are integral to driver-to-infrastructure (D2I) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) interactions. Yearly, the installation and maintenance of these various TCD’s costs the nation millions of dollars in operations cost, Furthermore, the non-conformation (or non-perception) with signage on the part of the driver leads to several compounded safety problems. Very often, signage changes occur within a local area based on different factors. There is a need for a more robust, low-cost, and user-centric mechanism of delivering information to the driver that can directly bear on the safety of the driver. Augmented reality (AR) has now advanced to the point where we can deliver information from a real-world physical environment to the driver in a non-invasive manner. The advantage here is the level of flexibility and control offered by AR which allows us to provide very specific traffic control information to the driver at situations and epochs deemed appropriate. The research questions will be focused on how such safety-critical traffic control information (and what specific information) can be delivered effectively to the driver using AR without causing any form of distraction or engagement-related problems. Specific variables of interest include: head/eye movements, vehicle handling measures, task-engagement behaviors, and physiological parameters. The outcomes of the research will allow us to investigate the safety benefits of using AR to deliver traffic control messages to the user and therefore ascertain the feasibility of eventually replacing physical TCD’s with AR signs. The findings may lead to an improvement in traffic sign compliance, allow for easier enforcement, and fewer fixed-vehicle crashes.