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Bicyclist biomotion visibility aids: a 3D eye-tracking analysis

Timothy Stapleton (Department of Design, University of California, Davis, Davis, California, USA)
Helen Sumin Koo (Department of Design, University of California, Davis, Davis, California, USA)

International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology

ISSN: 0955-6222

Article publication date: 18 April 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effectiveness of biomotion visibility aids for nighttime bicyclists compared to other configurations via 3D eye-tracking technology in a blind between-subjects experiment.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 40 participants were randomly assigned one of four visibility aid conditions in the form of videos: biomotion (retroreflective knee and ankle bands), non-biomotion (retroreflective vest configuration), pseudo-biomotion (vertical retroreflective stripes on the back of the legs), and control (all-black clothing). Gaze fixations on a screen were measured with a 3D eye-tracking system; coordinate data for each condition were analyzed via one-way ANOVA and Tukey’s post-hoc analyses with supplementary heatmaps. Post-experimental questionnaires addressed participants’ qualitative assessments.

Findings

Significant differences in eye gaze location were found between the four reflective clothing design conditions in X-coordinate values (p<0.01) and Y-coordinate values (p<0.05).

Practical implications

This research has the potential to further inform clothing designers and manufacturers on how to incorporate biomotion to increase bicyclist visibility and safety.

Social implications

This research has the potential to benefit both drivers and nighttime bicyclists through a better understanding of how biomotion can increase visibility and safety.

Originality/value

There is lack of literature addressing the issue of the commonly administered experimental task of recognizing bicyclists and its potential bias on participants’ attention and natural driving state. Eye-tracking has the potential to implicitly determine attention and visibility, devoid of biases to attention. A new retroreflective visibility aid design, pseudo-biomotion, was also introduced in this experiment.

Keywords

Citation

Stapleton, T. and Koo, H.S. (2017), "Bicyclist biomotion visibility aids: a 3D eye-tracking analysis", International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, Vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 262-269. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCST-05-2016-0060

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited