Grant: Assess the effectiveness of Type 2 and Type 3 safety vests for day and night use-Phase. Ohio Department of Transportation. PI: John Ash. Co-PI: Ming Tang. Julian Wang. $337,366.31. ($191,458.16 in FY2020 and $145,908.15 in FY2021) Period: 02.2020-02.2022.
Ming Tang leads the modeling team constructed the virtual reality driving simulation, and conducted eye-tracking data collection to measure driver’s perception on the construction zone and various vest, signage and vehicles.
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.
Use Virtual Reality and Eye-tracking to evaluate the safety of vest on the highway construction site.
To access copies of the final report, visit: https://www.transportation.ohio.gov/programs/research-program/research-projects/02-research-projects
This research was sponsored by the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration.