Volume 49 Number 3, 2012
Pages 381— 394
Abstract–A repeated-measures design with block randomization was used for the study, in which 14 adults with visual impairments attempted to detect three different vehicles: a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) with an artificially generated sound (Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians [VSP]), an HEV without the VSP, and a comparable internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. The VSP vehicle (mean +/– standard deviation [SD] = 38.3 +/– 14.8 m) was detected at a significantly farther distance than the HEV (mean +/– SD = 27.5 +/– 11.5 m), t = 4.823, p < 0.001, but no significant difference existed between the VSP and ICE vehicles (mean +/– SD = 34.5 +/– 14.3 m), t = 1.787, p = 0.10. Despite the overall sound level difference between the two test sites (parking lot = 48.7 dBA, roadway = 55.1 dBA), no significant difference in detection distance between the test sites was observed, F(1, 13) = 0.025, p = 0.88. No significant interaction was found between the vehicle type and test site, F(1.31, 16.98) = 0.272, p = 0.67. The findings of the study may help us understand how adding an artificially generated sound to an HEV could affect some of the orientation and mobility tasks performed by blind pedestrians.
Key words: alert sound, blind, detectability, hybrid electric vehicle, orientation and mobility, pedestrian safety, quiet car, vehicle detection, Vehicle Sound for Pedestrian, visually impaired.
Last Reviewed or Updated Thursday, April 26, 2012 11:55 AM