Development an Immersive Training Platform for Roadway Construction Workers using Virtual and Augmented Reality Technologies

Project ID: CTEDD 022-06

Author(s): Zhenyu Wang, University of South Florida

Co-Author(s): Pei-Sung Lin, University of South Florida; Redwan M. Alqasemi, University of South Florida

CTEDD Funding Year: 2022 General RFP

Project Status: In Progress

Work zones play a crucial role in maintaining and upgrading the nation’s roadway infrastructure.  Roadway construction workers, as vulnerable roadway users, experience a significant number of fatalities and injuries in work zones. Safety training is critical in conserving a safe and equal working environment for roadway construction workers. Immersive training based on virtual reality (VR) technologies has become an attractive solution for safety training in high-risk environments (i.e., work zones).

The goal of this study is to develop an immersive training platform, integrating the state-of-the-art VR and Augmented Reality (AR) systems for roadway construction workers in an efficient, safe, and cost-effective training approach. To achieve this goal, study objectives are to

  1. identify critical work zone scenarios for workers’ immersive safety training,
  2. determine appropriate VR technologies,
  3. design and develop a prototype immersive training platform, and
  4. conduct a preliminary test to evaluate the effectiveness of the immersive training platform for construction workers.

The expected outputs include a prototype of an immersive training platform, successful experiences and lessons learned, and recommendations for implementing the platform. Through demonstrations, webinars, presentations, and publications, the technologies and products developed in this study will be transferred to the stakeholder (Florida Department of Transportation, District 7) and other agencies. The project results can be the basis for further research and development and teaching materials in graduate courses.