Young Researchers

Use of virtual reality and reference systems for the process of designing solutions to urban mobility

The process of designing solutions to urban mobility is costly and can be difficult to carry out. Furthermore, only in a few cases the process is focused in the final user, which compromises the acceptance and success of the solution. To incorporate the users and receive their opinion during the early stages of the process, it is necessary to collect their views on the solution. The opinion given must be based on the direct interaction between the user and the object or service proposed.

One way of creating this interaction is by using a prototype or human scale model of the solution. However, it is not always possible to build these devices due to their size and high costs. These obstacles is particularly evident when talking about grand scale solutions, such as urban spaces, or big objects, such as planes.

There are companies that use virtual reality to develop the design of their products. For example the PSA group and Airbus use VR to facilitate the process of product conception, while capturing the opinions of the end-users to ensure the success of their projects. This research proposes to enhance the use of virtual reality technology in processes of design with the use of reference systems to analyse the information captured through virtual simulations. The use of both tools facilitates the creation of classification algorithms and, finally, the recognition of recommendations for the simulated solutions. 

The objective of the research is to explore the existent literature and develop fieldwork using virtual reality and reference systems through tools such as Unity 3D and the HTC Vive virtual reality helmet.

The result of the work is a methodology for the “use of virtual reality and reference systems to improve the process of designing solutions to urban mobility”. The methodology consists of 5 steps to improve the process of design by identifying the user, conducting a simulation or direct interaction with the product, and capturing the user’s experience. The information retrieved from these steps is then analysed and recommendations are drawn for the people responsible of the design to facilitate their decision-making process.

The design of the Gare de Nancy is used as a case study and it is examined to show the strengths and reach of prototypes in virtual reality.

A platform was developed to connect all the steps of the methodology: user identification, virtual simulation and a survey according to the analysed solution.

The selection of the Young Researcher project is done through a call published on the EU-LAC Foundation networks and website.


Please read the Research Document here