Designing passenger-friendly rail stations with VR (Railway-Technology)

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According to the Office of Rail and Road, there were 428 million UK passenger journeys in the first quarter of 2018-19 alone. London Waterloo is by far the busiest station in the country, with 99 million passenger entries and exists in the 2016-17 period. With so many travelling, getting passengers from A to B as smoothly and efficiently as possible is absolutely vital.

New rail stations are being designed with efficient wayfinding at their core, as a means to ensure smooth passenger flow as a central tenet, but without being able to stand in a physical space, it can be tricky for station designers and architects to sufficiently test out whether their plans are making appropriate use of signage and space.

A problem for architects and designers looking to incorporate wayfinding into their designs is that they often have to rely upon subjective interviews from individuals on how they process signage information and environmental cues. This is even true when using a 3D virtual reality model that they can put representative passengers into. This is where the incorporation of eye-tracking technology shines: by interviewing passengers after their virtual journey, designers can differentiate between what the individual looked at and what they actually saw and registered.

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Written by Long Branch Mike