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Open AccessArticle

The Influence of Noise Emitted by Vehicles on Pedestrian Crossing Decision-Making: A Study in a Virtual Environment

1
Department of Civil Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Minho, Campus de Azurém, 4800 058 Guimarães, Portugal
2
Perception, Interaction and Usability Domain, Centre of Computer Graphics, Campus de Azurém, 4800 058 Guimarães, Portugal
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(8), 2913; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10082913
Received: 28 February 2020 / Revised: 8 April 2020 / Accepted: 20 April 2020 / Published: 23 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New and Old Environmental Impacts on Population Well Being)
When crossing a road, pedestrians must detect traffic, combine data coming from different perceptual modalities, evaluate the time envelope for safely cross the street, and monitor the position of oncoming vehicles to perform corrective actions if needed. This study analyzed the influence of noise emitted by vehicles, or its absence, on pedestrians’ crossing decision-making. Experiments were performed in a virtual environment using two road scenarios. Participants were presented with stimuli of approaching vehicles that varied regarding speed, movement patterns, and auditory condition: one concerning the approaching of an electric vehicle, another regarding the approaching of a gasoline combustion vehicle, and, finally, a condition regarding the absence of auditory cues. Participants were tasked with indicating the moment when they decided to cross the street. The results show that, despite the noise variations caused by the type of vehicle and its speed pattern, the participants’ decision to cross was mostly based on vehicle distance. When a vehicle approaches the crosswalk from a short distance and with no occlusion to the pedestrian’s visibility, the sound does not seem to influence the pedestrians’ crossing decision-making. View Full-Text
Keywords: pedestrian behavior; crossing decision-making; road noise; virtual environments; electric vehicles pedestrian behavior; crossing decision-making; road noise; virtual environments; electric vehicles
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MDPI and ACS Style

Soares, F.; Silva, E.; Pereira, F.; Silva, C.; Sousa, E.; Freitas, E. The Influence of Noise Emitted by Vehicles on Pedestrian Crossing Decision-Making: A Study in a Virtual Environment. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 2913.

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