Evaluating Passenger Safety Experience

05.03.2015

Jonna Nevalainen's Master's thesis could form a starting point for studying passenger safety using virtual reality.

Jonna Nevalainen has begun her Master’s thesis on the topic of passenger safety experience on cruise ship in January 2015. Her research combines resources from both Cruise and Ferry Experience program and Aalto Built Environment Lab. The thesis could form a starting point for studying passenger safety using virtual reality.

One central theme of Nevalainen’s research will be how the cues in the environment impact the perception of safety of a passenger. This part of the study is based on accident reports. Nevalainen also intends to study the impact of panic to the functioning of a person.

Accident reports offer a good source because they contain information about the actual behavior of people in accident situations. However, the challenge is that they often focus on the behavior of the crew trying to find some reasons for the accident. Due to this, the data on the behavior of the passengers is likely to be fragmented.

Nevalainen expects that virtual reality could be utilized to better understand passenger behavior on board in accident situations. At this stage, her research could offer an array of hypotheses that could be further studied with virtual reality passenger simulations.

At this point, Nevalainen speculates that if a person could be more able to identify the safety possibilities of the environment from specific cues, he or she could function in a safer way in accident situations. Most of the previous passenger safety studies have focused on studying evacuation situations using mechanistic models of passengers. Nevalainen wants to point out that people’s experience and reading of their environment could have significant influence on what really happens during an accident situation.

More information: Jonna Nevalainen, jonna.nevalainen@aalto.fi.