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Several research papers have reported the landscape impact on driving safety or health in stimulated experimental studies. Very few studies have investigated its effects on urban roads. This study examined the impact of the greenness of road environments on drivers’ mental status in Liuzhou city, China. Based on Baidu streetscapes and pixel-level semantic segmentation (PspNet), eight one-hour driving lines with significant greenness levels were selected. The driving line was planned using Amap, and AutoNavi voice navigation guided the participants at the proper sound level. Each of the 36 participants completed eight real driving tasks in a randomly assigned sequence with one-day intervals to decrease the accumulative learning skills. Self-reported questionnaires were used to measure their mental status before, middle, and after the driving. During the driving tasks, the bio harness was used to continually measure physiological status, while the camera took videos of the out-car environments at the driver’s eye level. Further using semantic segmentation (DeepLab V3) to analyze the greenness of videos and its impact on mental and physiological status, we find significant differences impact of different greenness on mental and physiological health. Road landscapes with higher greenery can positively impact mental and physiological status during driving. These findings can provide suggestions and guidance for government, city and road planners, and landscape designers to promote public health and safety during daily driving.
Wenyan Xu is a PhD candidate in the Division of Landscape Architecture at The University of Hong Kong. Her research interests focus on examining the impact of the environment on public health. She has contributed to scholarly journals, including Journal of Environment Psychology, Urban Forest & Urban Greening, Applied Acoustics, and Landscape Research.
Yuwen Yang is a PhD candidate in the Division of Landscape Architecture. Her research interests include the urban built and natural environment’s impacts on infectious and chronic diseases and environmental inequity. She is currently studying the associations between green space and Covid-19.