Pedestrians Make Riskier Road Crossing Decisions in Interaction With Accelerating Electric Compared to Conventional Vehicles (vor Ort)
* Presenting author
When crossing a road, pedestrians need to accurately judge the motion of approaching vehicles to avoid collisions. For vehicles with internal combustion engine (ICEVs), the vehicle sound provides salient auditory information about the acceleration state. For electric vehicles (EVs), the acoustic signature during acceleration is less salient. Here, we investigated whether this difference between the acoustic signatures might lead to riskier road crossing decisions in interaction with EVs compared to ICEVs. In an interactive and highly realistic audiovisual virtual-reality simulation, a vehicle approached the participants on a one-lane street. The vehicle initially approached at constant speed for 2 s and then accelerated positively. The acoustic simulations of the vehicle were based on acoustic recordings of a real ICEV and of real EVs with active or inactive acoustic vehicle alerting system (AVAS). For the ICEV, the probability of crossing decisions that would have resulted in a collision with the vehicle was lower than for the EVs and did not increase substantially with the acceleration level. In interaction with the EVs, riskier decisions were made and the collision probability increased significantly with the acceleration level. The AVAS reduced this effect slightly but did not remove it. Implications for AVAS designs are discussed.