Study of Gap Acceptance and Walking Speeds of Pedestrians using Virtual Reality Simulation

The numbers of pedestrians killed on road crashes merits attention. In the United States, 5,987 pedestrian fatalities were registered in 2016; the highest number registered since 1990. One of the riskier roadway situations for pedestrians are uncontrolled crossings (at midblock or unsignalized intersections). Researchers found that crashes at uncontrolled crossings are related to the crossing conflicts, excessive vehicle speeds, inadequate conspicuity/visibility, drivers not yielding to pedestrians, and insufficient separation from traffic. Visibility could be limited by road geometrics, traffic, glare effect, and vehicles with tinted glass. Based on the problem stated above, the research team proposes to use virtual reality simulation to analyze how pedestrians make the decision to cross at an uncontrolled location on urban roads. By not having a control device to assist them in this decision, each pedestrian needs to analyze the existing roadway and operating conditions to decide when an acceptable gap in the vehicle traffic flow is available to safely cross the road. The study will analyze the ability of pedestrians to detect safe vehicle gap times to cross the road at uncontrolled crossings, their capacity to respond to unexpected hazardous situations, and their walking speed during the crossing maneuver. The goal is to measure crossing time and mean speed, the time or speed variance, the reaction time, the time to collision, and the quantity of head movements. These variables will be used to compare the performance of the subjects and the successful rate when crossing the road under varying conditions of traffic direction (one-way vs. two-way), lighting (day vs. night), vehicle speed (high vs. low speed) and gender and age groups.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $30335
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    University of Iowa, Iowa City

    National Advanced Driving Simulator, 2401 Oakdale Blvd
    Iowa City, IA  United States  52242-5003
  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez

    Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying
    PO Box 9000
    Mayagüez PR 00681-9000, PR  United States  00681-9000
  • Principal Investigators:

    Figueroa Medina, Alberto

    Valdes Diaz, Didier

    Colucci-Rios, Benjamin

  • Start Date: 20190601
  • Expected Completion Date: 20201130
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01699005
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Safety Research Using Simulation University Transportation Center (SaferSim)
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747131
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Mar 19 2019 5:05PM