A Virtual Reality Experiment on Flashing Lights at Emergency Exit Portals for Road Tunnel Evacuation

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Abstract

A virtual reality (VR) experiment with 96 participants was carried out to provide recommendations on the design of flashing lights at emergency exit portals for road tunnel emergency evacuation. The experiment was carried out in a Cave Automatic Virtual Environment laboratory. A set of variables was investigated, namely (1) colour of flashing lights, (2) flashing rate, (3) type of light source, (4) number and layout of the lights on the portal. Participants were immersed in a VR road tunnel emergency evacuation scenario and they were then asked to rank different portal designs using a questionnaire based on the Theory of Affordances. Results show that green or white flashing lights perform better than blue lights. A flashing rate of 1 and 4 Hz performed better than a flashing rate of 0.25 Hz. A light emitting diode light source performed better than single and double strobe lights. The three layouts of the lights under consideration performed similarly.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Building Technologies

Keywords

  • Virtual reality, Emergency evacuation, Tunnel evacuation, Flashing lights, Theory of affordances, Emergency exit
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-647
JournalFire Technology
Volume52
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes