A NEW INTERACTIVE RAILWAY VIRTUAL SIMULATOR FOR TESTING PREVENTIVE SAFETY
Free (open access)
367 - 378
STEFANO PAPA, ANTONIO LANZOTTI, GIUSEPPE DI GIRONIMO, ALESSIO BALSAMO
The objective of the work is to describe the design and the realization of a virtual simulator of a metropolitan railway cockpit, aimed at improving the perception of safety by means of tests made by users in Virtual Reality, analysed through statistical methodologies. The user lives the experience of a driver in an immersive and interactive Augmented Reality session, interacting with the train dashboard and all its control and signalling devices. In particular, the user is proposed to test different dashboards, different configurations of the controls and different signalling and safety devices in order to compare different concept and select the optimum in terms of perception of dangerous situation, reaction to an event and cognitive response in different situations of the rail vehicle driving. The simulator consists of a simulacrum integrating different technologies, physically composed of a dashboard of the cockpit of a metropolitan train and a real seat. The geometry of the dashboard has been acquired through Reverse Engineering techniques from a real train dashboard. The user’s immersion in the virtual environment during the simulation is guaranteed by the scene displayed on the Augmented Reality device, while, simultaneously, the stereoscopic projection on a screen above the dashboard makes available the experience even to users not directly involved, seeing the scene from the driver’s point of view. The immersive Augmented Reality is realized through a Head-Mounted Display (HMD) by which the user, protagonist of the driving experience, sees the configuration of the virtual control devices (CAD geometries) overlapped with the physical dashboard in order to naturally interact into the immersive environment. The interaction between user and simulator happens through the NUI (Natural User Interfaces) based on markerless tracking of parts of the user’s body.
preventive safety, vitual simulator, railway design, vehicle driving, augmented reality, reverse engineering, train dashboard, head-mounted display, natural user interfaces, IDEAinVR