Ming Tang presented the recent research project at the annual conference hosted by the Institute for Research in Sensing (IRiS), May 25th and 26th, 2022 at UC. This event re-imagines the traditional academic conference to forge novel connections and stimulate new interdisciplinary conversations on the broad topic of sensing, including work on perception, sensor technology development, and ethical innovations in sensing research.
Project: Use eye-tracking to measure the effectiveness of safety vests
Team: Ming Tang, John Ash, Adekunle Adebisi, Julian Wang, Jiaqi Ma.
Funded by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT)
Work zones are an essential component of any state transportation agency’s construction and maintenance operations. As such, agencies apply numerous practices to keep their workers safe during construction operations. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) recently invested in several more advanced items to improve worker safety (and traveler safety, by hopefully reducing the number of crashes overall). Specifically, ODOT invested in Type 2 and 3 safety vests, halo lights, and reflectors on the back of dump trucks. In 2020, a team of researchers from the University of Cincinnati (UC) worked with the Ohio Department of Transportation to assess the effectiveness of safety vests for day and night use.
The simulation-based evaluation used measurements to create realistic retroreflective vests, lights, and other safety equipment in virtual scenarios. These items were then placed in different virtual work zone environments, each of which had different work zone setup conditions, traffic control, vests worn by workers, time of day/ambient lighting, etc. Through an eye-tracking experiment measuring participants’ gaze on workers in different virtual work zone scenarios and a driving simulator experiment in which participants drove through virtual work zones and were asked follow-up questions on worker conspicuity, subjective and objective measures of worker visibility were obtained.