ViAjeRo: Virtual and Augmented Reality passenger experiences is an exciting project taking place within ARC XR. Funded by the European Research Council (€2,443,657.50), the project focuses on improving passenger journeys with immersive XR technology. ViAjeRo is currently a five-year project and has received funding from September 2019 until August 2024.

The UofG ViAjeRo project team have extensive experience in subjects covering Human Computer Interaction, haptics and audio, VR for media consumption, movement and interaction, virtual workspaces, psychology, human perception and cognition. The below staff members are involved:

  • Professor Stephen Brewster is a Professor of Human-Computer Interactions and Associate in Institute of Health & Wellbeing. He leads the Multimodal Interaction Group and holds an ERC Advanced Grant (ERC Horizon 2020 Fellowship) on virtual and augmented reality.
  • Dr Mark McGill (R-CoI) is a Lecturer in Computing Science and is a research fellow in the Multimodal Interaction Group on the project.
  • Dr Julie Williamson (CoI), is a Lecturer in Human-Computer Interaction.
  • Professor Frank Pollick (CoI) is a Professor of Psychology and an international expert in the brain mechanisms underlying human perception and cognition.
  • Dr Gang Li is a Research Associate in Psychology whose research focuses on motion sickness and neurostimulation.
  • Laura Bajorunaite is a PhD student in Computing Science and is exploring the social acceptability of passenger mixed reality.

Objectives of the project

Currently in Europe, people travel an average of 12,000km per year on private and public transport, and this is set to rise with the introduction of new technology aimed at improving efficiency including fully autonomous cars. The amount of time spent travelling poses significant challenges to individuals including, confined spaces – leading to limited interactivity and a reliance on small displays such as phones, social acceptability – sharing spaces with others can induce a pressure to confirm which limits technology use and, motion sickness – many travellers get sick whilst using technology on transport and symptoms can be quite severe.

These challenges pose an exciting opportunity for the use of immersive Virtual and Augmented Reality (together called XR). ViAjeRo is a project funded by the European Research Council aiming to radically improve all passenger journeys by facilitating the use of XR to support entertainment, work and collaboration when on the move.

The impact

The project utilises VR/AR technology to improve the passenger journey for all travellers. The use of VR/AR headsets will enable passengers to use large virtual displays for productivity; escape the physical confines of the vehicle and become immersed in virtual experiences; and communicate with distant others through new embodied forms of communication – all whilst travelling.

The vision requires ground-breaking contributions at the intersection of human computer interactions neuroscience and sensing to:

  • Develop novel interaction techniques for confined, seated spaces
  • Support safe, socially acceptable use of VR/AR, providing awareness of others and the travel environment
  • Overcome motion sickness through novel multimodal countermeasures and neurostimulation
  • Tailor the virtual and physical passenger environment to support new, immersive experiences