In the future, unmanned aerial systems (UAS), also known as drones, will be increasingly used to transport goods in urban areas. So far, little attention has been paid to technological development or social acceptance of drones in urban areas. In addition to security and data protection aspects, drones create visual and acoustic disturbance which have impacts on the population.
Together with the Institute of Flight Guidance and the Institute of Transportation Systems the acceptance of the population concerning the use of unmanned aerial systems in the city was investigated. Using augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) visualization, simulated drones were shown to the test persons in order to examine individual stress related to flying drones.
Simulated drone flight in the Virtual Reality Lab
The Institute of Transportation Systems provided the technical environment for a study in the Virtual Reality Laboratory. The department of Software for Space Systems and Interactive Visualization at the Institute for Software Technology visualized the Brunswick main railway station in a 360° VR lab, whereas the virtual drones were displayed for the test persons through HoloLens glasses.
The simulated drones were programmed to fly in varying heights and numbers in the depicted urban space above the test person.
The results of this first study indicate that especially the number of passing drones can have a strong influence on the population. However, the flight altitude seems to be decisive for how observed the participants of the study felt. In addition to general education about drones, minimizing aircraft noise was cited as a major contribution to greater acceptance.
Tasks of the Institute for Software Technology