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Virtual Reality Technology Prevents Accidents in Extreme Situations

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Abstract

This research is aimed at examining the added value of using Virtual Reality (VR) in a driving simulator to prevent road accidents, specifically by improving drivers' skills when confronted with extreme situations. In an experiment, subjects completed a driving scenario using two platforms: A 3-D Virtual Reality display system using an HMD (Head-Mounted Display), and a standard computerized display system based on a standard computer monitor. The results show that the average rate of errors (deviating from the driving path) in a VR environment is significantly lower than in the standard one. In addition, there was no compensation between speed and accuracy in completing the driving mission. On the contrary: The average speed was even slightly faster in the VR simulation than in the standard environment. Thus, generally, despite the lower rate of deviation in VR setting, it is not achieved by driving slower. When the subjects were asked about their personal experiences from the training session, most of the subjects responded that among other things, the VR session caused them to feel a higher sense of commitment to the task and their performance. Some of them even stated that the VR session gave them a real sensation of driving.

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