Meet us at TRB 2019

Our research group’s research will be presented at the 98th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board in Washington, DC, January 13-17, 2019.

Hands-On Workshop for Virtual Reality in Stated Response Research

Sunday, January 13, 2019, 1:30 PM-4:30 PM, Convention Center

Zachary Patterson, Concordia University, presiding, Michael van Eggermond

Sponsored by Standing Committee on Travel Survey Methods; Standing Committee on Urban Transportation Data and Information Systems; and Standing Committee on Traveler Behavior and Values

A main challenge of the use of virtual reality (VR) in stated response surveys is actually putting together a VR environment. After short presentations on recent VR surveys, attendees will learn how to set up a basic virtual environment for stated response survey applications with the soon-to-be open-source Virtual Immersive Reality Environment platform developed by Bilal Farooq of Ryerson University. Other VR platforms also will be sought for inclusion in the workshop.

Processing cycling risk under different elicitation methods: comparing 2d and 3d in virtual reality choice environments

Martyna Bogacz, Chiara Calastri, Charisma Choudhury, Stephane Hess, Alex Erath, Michael Van Eggermond, Faisal Mushtaq

Collecting and Analyzing Pedestrian and Bicyclist Data, January 14, Monday 10:15 AM- 12:00 PM, Hall A / Convention Center

The aim of this study is to provide a better understanding of cyclists’ risk perception in different scenarios under different elicitation methods. In particular, 2D computer-based videos and 3D virtual reality simulations of road situations are contrasted. We collect data on cyclists’ behavioural responses in risky conditions and their stated responses on propensity to cycle and risk perception. Electroencephalography (EEG) is used to gain insight into the temporal sequence of cortical risk processing, which gives a better understanding of neural mechanisms underlying choices. In addition, this study provides the validation of virtual reality as a tool for risk preference elicitation. Our results are in line with expectations: they show behavioural responses in line with the stimuli of the scenarios and an effect of the elicitation method, e.g. the perception of the riskiest elements seem to be exacerbated in 3D. Overall, we show that the 3D presentation method has an impact on the neural processing of risk and not only it changes the way people perceive risk but also their behaviour. The findings provide useful insights about data collection in the context of cycling behaviour and beyond.

Operator and User Perspectives on Fleet Mix, Parking Strategy and Drop-Off Bay Size for Autonomous Transit on Demand

Biyu Wang, Sergio Arturo Ordonez Medina, Pieter Jacobus Fourie
Parking Potpourri, Monday, January 14, 1:30 PM- 3:15 PM, Hall A / Convention Center

Autonomous vehicles (AVs), but in particular shared autonomous transit on demand (ATOD), promises many efficiencies in future transport provision, and may lead to concomitant changes in urban form. Considering the effects of car-oriented planning on the livability, efficiency and sustainability of 20th century cities, there is growing interest in how we may anticipate the changes that this disruption will bring about. Parking and pick-up drop-off infrastructures are some of the several aspects which may change travel behaviour in the upcoming era of AVs. In the paper, three different parking strategies as well as four types of pick-up drop-off infrastructures are simulated to assess their influence in users and operators. The studied parking strategies include demand-based roaming, parking on the street and parking in depots. The four types of pick-up drop-off interfaces are infinity bay, demand-based bay, curbside and single vehicle. The proposed fleet include 3 vehicle sizes: 4-, 10- and 20-seaters for sharing mobility, and 1-seaters for private mobility. Combinations of different parking strategies and different pick-up drop-off infrastructures were evaluated from the perspective of travel time, walk distance, vehicle occupancy, rejected requests and vehicle kilometers traveled. Results show that strategies produce radically different utilization of vehicles to provide the same minimum service level for a particular study area in Singapore. We conclude that urban designers and policy-makers need to consider these as important parameters when designing or retrofitting neighborhoods if they want to maximize potential benefits from this new transportation mode.

Studying Cyclists’ Behavior in a Non-naturalistic Experiment Utilizing Cycling Simulator with Immersive Virtual Reality

Transportation Issues and Solutions in Major Cities, Wednesday, January 16, 2019 2:30PM 4:00PM, Hall A / Convention Center

Mohsen Nazemi, Michael van Eggermond, Alex Erath, Kay W. Axhausen

This study investigates the combination immersive virtual reality (VR) and an instrumented cycling simulator for in-depth behavioral studies of cyclists. To this end, a cycling simulator was developed, virtual environments resembling Singapore were created, combined with the output of a traffic microsimulation. This set-up was created with the specific objective of evaluating the effects environment properties and road infrastructure designs on cyclists’ perceived safety. Forty participants, mainly university students, were recruited for the experiment. Results showed that the average speed of the participants changes between scenes with different bicycle facilities, with the highest value for the segregated bicycle path. The braking and head movement activities also changed within each scene, where they significantly occurred more before arriving at the intersections. Questionnaire results revealed adding a painted bicycle path to a sidewalk increases the level of perceived safety. Moreover, participants felt safest for cycling on the segregated bicycle path, in line with findings from previous research. This study provides evidence that cyclists’ behavior and perceptions in VR is very similar to reality and that VR, combined with a cycling simulator, is suitable to communicate (future) cycling facilities.