Virtual Reality in Active Transportation
Planning, Policy, Research, and Education
In the past decade, Virtual Reality has gained momentum, becoming an asset in both recreation and research. Virtual Reality (VR) allows users to immerse themselves in numerous lifelike or fictional landscapes through wearable and sensory technologies. Utilizing VR technology provides researchers with the opportunity to educate and test out various scenarios, while minimizing possible economic and health risks.
In 2019, Charles Brown of Equitable Cities, served as a senior researcher/principal investigator with the New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center (NJ BPRC) and Safe Routes to School (SRTS) for this white paper, which explores ways in which VR can be used to advance active-transportation research, education, and practice. Through case studies and examples, this study highlights key applications of VR in transportation. Its findings indicate that VR can be extremely useful for interacting with people, visualizing designs, understanding user behavior, and education and training purposes. It can be incorporated into a number of existing New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center (NJBPRC) and Safe Routes to School (SRTS) initiatives including regional complete streets training workshops, safe routes to school, bicycle and pedestrian planning, public outreach and engagement, and senior mobility workshops.
New Jersey Department of Transportation
Voorhees Transportation Center, Rutgers University
Virtual Reality • Transportation Planning • Community Engagement