Stated preference experiments have been criticized for lack of realism. This issue is particularly visible when the scenario does not have a well understood prior reference, as in the case of research into demand for autonomous vehicles. The paper presents Virtual Immersive Reality Environment (VIRE), which is capable of developing highly realistic, immersive, and interactive choice scenarios. We demonstrate the use of VIRE in researching pedestrian preferences related to autonomous vehicles and associated infrastructure changes on urban streets in Montréal, Canada. The results are compared with predominantly used approaches: text-only and visual aid. We show that VIRE results in respondents having better understanding of the scenario and it yields more consistent results.
Transportation Research Record – SAGE
Published: Dec 1, 2018
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