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Flashing lights at road tunnel emergency exit portals: A Virtual Reality study with low-cost Head Mounted Displays

Mayorga, David LU (2017) VBRM05 20171
Division of Fire Safety Engineering
Abstract
Previous studies have provided detailed recommendations regarding the design of flashing lights at emergency exit portals in road tunnels. Theory of Affordances have assisted safety designers fixing characteristics such as color, flashing rate, type and number of lights in emergency systems. A systematic evaluation through experiments has, additionally, provide stronger support to define these characteristics.
The present project replicates the Virtual Reality (VR) experiment on the design of flashing lights from Ronchi and Nilsson (2015) conducted in a Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE) with the usage of low-cost VR equipment in order to create a cross comparison between VR technologies and provide stronger support to VR as a... (More)
Previous studies have provided detailed recommendations regarding the design of flashing lights at emergency exit portals in road tunnels. Theory of Affordances have assisted safety designers fixing characteristics such as color, flashing rate, type and number of lights in emergency systems. A systematic evaluation through experiments has, additionally, provide stronger support to define these characteristics.
The present project replicates the Virtual Reality (VR) experiment on the design of flashing lights from Ronchi and Nilsson (2015) conducted in a Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE) with the usage of low-cost VR equipment in order to create a cross comparison between VR technologies and provide stronger support to VR as a research method in several fields of application. The main motivation to perform this comparison arises from premises such as technological advances and accessibility that Head Mounted Displays (HMD) offer nowadays. A HMD powered by a mobile device was, therefore, tested with the purpose of defining if it is a system immerse enough to provide the results offered by more robust technologies.
After facing changes and limitations regarding image performance, the results obtained in the cross comparison, which show a high level of similarity (93.33%), justify the usage of low-cost HMD as a research tool in Human Behavior in Fire. Additional justification is reached since the results were also found to be cost-effective and easily obtained. (Less)
Popular Abstract
Head Mounted Displays using Virtual Reality (VR) to replace traditional research methods: A cross comparison of different VR technologies in experiments regarding Human Behavior in Fire

Traditional research methods such as laboratory experiments, field studies, case studies and drills have usually presented control issues when performing experiments of Human Behavior in Fire (HBiF). New research tools have recently being used. Virtual Reality (VR) has lately been an alternative solution to perform experiments regarding HBiF where limitations such as risk exposure to participants, ecological validity, economic resources and experimental control have been considerably suppressed.
During a field evacuation experiment, the researcher might... (More)
Head Mounted Displays using Virtual Reality (VR) to replace traditional research methods: A cross comparison of different VR technologies in experiments regarding Human Behavior in Fire

Traditional research methods such as laboratory experiments, field studies, case studies and drills have usually presented control issues when performing experiments of Human Behavior in Fire (HBiF). New research tools have recently being used. Virtual Reality (VR) has lately been an alternative solution to perform experiments regarding HBiF where limitations such as risk exposure to participants, ecological validity, economic resources and experimental control have been considerably suppressed.
During a field evacuation experiment, the researcher might not want to warn participants that the experiment involves a possible evacuation or even the risk of harm. This would compromise or bias the results of the investigation. Nevertheless, this action would imply ethical issues. The logistics backstage and the resources needed would also constitute limitations. Limitations that, if the experiment was done with VR, would be significantly controlled.
Previous studies about HBiF using VR technologies have provided detailed recommendations regarding evacuation times and escape routes and design of emergency exit portals. Theory of Affordances has been followed by safety designers when fixing characteristics of emergency exit designs and it has helped the evacuees at the moment of pathfinding. In 2015, Ronchi and Nilsson performed VR studies at Lund University where a systematic evaluation through experiments provided stronger support to define characteristics of emergency exit portals at road tunnels.
This project replicated the VR experiment on the design of flashing lights from Ronchi and Nilsson (2015) conducted in a Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE). Low-cost VR equipment was used in order to create a cross comparison between VR technologies and provide stronger support to VR as an alternative research method in several fields of application. A Head Mounted Display (HMD) powered by a mobile device was, therefore, used with the purpose of test if it is a system immerse enough to provide the results offered by more robust technologies.
After facing changes and limitations regarding image performance, the results obtained in the cross comparison, which showed a high level of similarity (93.33%), justify the usage of low-cost HMD as a research tool in Human Behavior in Fire. Additional justification is reached since the results were also found to be cost-effective and easily obtained. Furthermore, the technology used for the experiments turned to be not only less in quantity and space but also cheaper. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Mayorga, David LU
supervisor
organization
course
VBRM05 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Virtual Reality, Cross comparison, Head Mounted Displays, Theory of Affordances, Flashing Lights, Road Tunnels
report number
5546
other publication id
ISRN: LUTVDG/TVBB-5546-SE
language
English
id
8918080
date added to LUP
2017-07-05 08:48:40
date last changed
2017-07-05 08:48:40
@misc{8918080,
  abstract     = {Previous studies have provided detailed recommendations regarding the design of flashing lights at emergency exit portals in road tunnels. Theory of Affordances have assisted safety designers fixing characteristics such as color, flashing rate, type and number of lights in emergency systems. A systematic evaluation through experiments has, additionally, provide stronger support to define these characteristics.
The present project replicates the Virtual Reality (VR) experiment on the design of flashing lights from Ronchi and Nilsson (2015) conducted in a Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE) with the usage of low-cost VR equipment in order to create a cross comparison between VR technologies and provide stronger support to VR as a research method in several fields of application. The main motivation to perform this comparison arises from premises such as technological advances and accessibility that Head Mounted Displays (HMD) offer nowadays. A HMD powered by a mobile device was, therefore, tested with the purpose of defining if it is a system immerse enough to provide the results offered by more robust technologies.
After facing changes and limitations regarding image performance, the results obtained in the cross comparison, which show a high level of similarity (93.33%), justify the usage of low-cost HMD as a research tool in Human Behavior in Fire. Additional justification is reached since the results were also found to be cost-effective and easily obtained.},
  author       = {Mayorga, David},
  keyword      = {Virtual Reality,Cross comparison,Head Mounted Displays,Theory of Affordances,Flashing Lights,Road Tunnels},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Flashing lights at road tunnel emergency exit portals: A Virtual Reality study with low-cost Head Mounted Displays},
  year         = {2017},
}