A novel approach to the investigation and quantification of the stop/start process for pedestrian traffic using motion capture devices

Characterising the stop/start walking process of individuals in a crowded and congested space is an important consideration in modelling pedestrian movement. However, the reaction of pedestrians to speed changes, especially to the person in front, has not been fully characterised nor quantified for full adoption in computer models. This study, therefore, explored the different phases of the stop/start process through a series of novel experiments conducted at University College Dublin (UCD) in which individual movements were captured precisely using motion capture equipment. The overall aim of the study was to develop a novel methodology (inspired from vehicle traffic flow) to break down and quantify the components of the stop/start walking process, i.e., the perception-reaction time, slow-down time, and start-up time of individuals walking in a single-file. These times, together with the total stopping distance and inter-person distances of each follower to their leader at the beginning and the end of each phase were quantified successfully and their inter-relationships were explored. The results showed the mean perception-reaction time, slow-down time, and start-up time delay were 0.48, 0.58, and 0.39 s, respectively. Where applicable, normal, lognormal, Weibull, gamma, and log-logistic probability distributions were fitted to the data to determine the best fit. The novel methodology developed in this study can be used in the future to investigate pedestrians’ behaviour in response to any changes in leaders’ speed, i.e. quantify the reaction of individuals in different phases. The results of this study can inform the representation of the stop/start process in microscopic pedestrian models.


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  • Accession Number: 01895800
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 11 2023 10:35AM