Govt. Spends $356,337 for Simulator to Study How People Cross the Road

by Melanie hunter

( – The National Science Foundation has awarded a $356,337 grant to the University of Iowa to use virtual technology to study social influences on risky cycling and pedestrian behavior.

“This project will create a simulation facility that will advance a capability to study the social interactions of two children, or a child and parent, as the two people walk or bicycle across a traffic-filled roadway,” the grant announcement said.

It will “expand existing infrastructure” at the university “to build a new simulator that matches a recently installed simulator at the same institution, which will permit each of two experimental participants to inhabit their own separate simulated environment.”

Both stimulators will be connected by a “high-speed network and programmed to share a single, virtual environment that can be configured for either bicycling or walking.”

“Experimental participants will control their motion by actually walking or cycling across these virtual intersections, surrounded by graphically rendered images that show a real-time, first-person view of their motion through the environment,” the grant said.
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