Ireland Road Safety Authority


Scope of Work

Making It Happen

Founded in 2006 due to a high degree of collisions, injuries, and deaths in Irish road travel, the Ireland Road Safety Authority’s mission is to promote road safety in Ireland. In addition to issuing drivers licenses, the RSA is also tasked with creating a diverse array of proactive outreach campaigns. One popular method of awareness is the RSA’s travelling shuttle bus that tours around Ireland promoting safety awareness, and Virtual Reality seemed like the perfect medium to create one-of-a-kind experiences resonate with media saturated audiences and drive home the importance of road safety.

Cubicle Ninjas prototyped a VR experience that not only educates users about road safety, but leaves them with a lasting memory that will hopefully drive good decision-making when getting behind the wheel.

Observing the Scene

It’s sunset in the Irish countryside. The user is the first responder at the scene of a dangerous car accident, and their every move is critical in determining the outcome of the situation. Will they make the right decisions that lead to a positive result, or will their choices have disastrous consequences?

Situational Decision-Making

The user will be guided through the scene via a series of decisions, using a combination of actions, conversational choices, and interactive elements. Correct responses will be rewarded, while incorrect choices provide educational opportunities. Do you comfort the driver? Save the passenger?

Consequential Actions

Every decision the user makes leads to additional choices, creating a huge variety of scenarios and illustrating the importance of each moment.

User Input

Within the virtual experience, the user will be able to make their selections simply by directing their attention towards certain areas of the environment. This functionality can be applied in various contextual situations, such as focusing on a character to offer support, or nodding to answer yes or no. This builds a sense of realism in conjunction with the first-person perspective.

Alternatively, a controller could be used to make on-screen selections.

In-Context Feedback

The virtual environment allows for a truly immersive experience. Intrusive UI elements a kept to a minimum through the use of in-context clues and feedback, such as cell phones, characters, and other elements within the scene itself. In this example, the user receives advice from a caller on their mobile phone. Such elements add to the realism of the scene, while also building a sense of confusion or urgency.

Randomized Events

While the scenario includes a series of scripted events, these can be randomized to encourage the users to think on their feet. This reflects the random nature of real-life situations and reinforces critical thinking skills.

Scenario Outcome

The result of the scenario is based on the user’s decisions over the course of a few minutes. The correct choices will result in a positive outcome, such as the safe arrival of an ambulance on the scene, while poor choices will reveal the drastic consequences of not following the rules of road safety.

Once the scenario is concluded, the user sees a “results” screen in the form of a news report, which grades users based on their performance. This connects to a leaderboard of user scores.

Video-Composited Characters

To achieve the highest standard of realism, the human characters in the scenario would be portrayed by actors. This 3D footage, filmed in a green-screen studio, would then be imported into the game environment and seamlessly merged with the rendered assets.

The Classroom Experience

The VR experience serves as a powerful teaching kit for the classroom. Using the Oculus Rift, each student can run through the scenario independently. The program gathers metrics on each student’s performance and creates a graded leaderboard, allowing the class as a whole to discuss the experience and compare each student’s choices and score.

A version of the experience could also be developed for Google Cardboard. This would require some changes to the program, such as removing the user’s ability make choices with a game controller or the ability to have random events occur during the scenario.