As part of their communication strategy during trade fairs, non-profit-organization AustriaTech was in search of a visually-impactful and entertaining way to demonstrate the functioning of the soon-to-be-released C-ITS, a set of intelligent, cooperative transport systems, in EU highways. For this purpose, they chose VR as the perfect medium to transmit the message due to its ability to deliver complex information in a simple, efficient, and memorable way.
The C-ITS Demonstrator is a VR driver education & awareness tool we created to illustrate the functioning, safety, and efficiency of the C-ITS in different traffic situations. The minimalist, yet informative interface allowed AustriaTech representatives to verbally present the case studies while using the VR Demonstrator as an interactive visual aid. By combining both personal and virtual engagement, users were able to visually assimilate high volumes of complex data while having an expert available to answer all their questions at any time.
The experience included four of the most common scenarios in mobility systems: road obstructions, roadside works, traffic jams, and fog. It featured two modes: a 'God view' perspective and a driver view. The God-view mode displayed all scenarios as interactive planets connected to the central traffic management center. In this planets, users could see the interaction between the traffic management center and the roadside units and vehicles. The driver mode allowed users to select a world from the God-view mode and visualize it from a more detailed ego perspective. In both cases, users could interact with their environment and teleport themselves to different situations using motion controllers.
To stand out from the formal tradeshow environment, the C-ITS Demonstrator offered a stylized, colorful, and entertaining world, complemented by composed music and sound effects, to round off the positive emotional impact on the user.
Due to the high success and strikingly positive feedback of this project, AustriaTech used the C-ITS Demonstrator in several other local and international tradeshows. The highly visual, hands-off approach of learning about the C-ITS using VR proved to be an effective tool to satisfy the curiosity of tradeshow visitors and engage their interest in learning about the C-ITS. It also offered AustriaTech presenters a distraction-free and engaging medium that allowed them to boost the attention of their audience significantly.
Alexander Hausmann, Project Manager AustriaTech