Shorten pedestrians’ perceived waiting time: The effect of tempo and pitch in audible pedestrian signals at red phase

Long waiting time at red light leads to negative experiences and red-light running behaviors. To shorten pedestrians’ experienced waiting time, this study explores how the tempo and pitch in audible pedestrian signals influence time estimation. In a simulated task of waiting at the red light, the authors compared pedestrians’ estimation of waiting time for three durations (30 s, 45 s, 60 s) while the tempo (40 bpm, 60 bpm, 120 bpm, bpm as the number of beats per minute) and pitch (175 Hz, 350 Hz, 700 Hz) of the tone were manipulated. The results show that pedestrians’ estimations of waiting time decreased with decreasing tempo in the audible signal, but did not differ significantly across different pitches. To verify the effect of tempo on time estimation in real crossing scenario, the authors interviewed 217 pedestrians randomly selected at six sites on their waiting time at different tempos. The tempo can still predict pedestrians’ time estimation. The findings have implications for auditory signal design of traffic lights.


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  • Accession Number: 01696136
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 23 2018 3:03PM