Although numerous public outreach campaigns continue to educate the general public about the dangers of driving into flood waters, the danger still exists, particularly among children and teenagers. We need to send a message about not only staying off the roads, but also out of washes, channels, etc. How can we use technology to elevate this danger?
We built an immersive VR experience of what it would be like to be trapped in a car carried away by floodwaters. The five-minute video was release to YouTube but was also demo’ed at local Las Vegas high schools with an Oculus HMD.
Clark County Regional Flood Control District
Come one, come all! Step right up and be dazzled by your near-death experience!
Research, Strategy, Design, Social, Digital, Virtual Reality, Identity, Experiential
The response was overwhelming. Students and faculty were so moved by the experience, that there are now talks to make it a required video in local driver’s eduction classes. Local news outlets also heavily promoted watching it as part of necessary preparation for the upcoming flood season.
“They don’t know what a flood looks like… many of them are just learning how to drive,” he said. “This virtual reality experience can save lives.”
– Issaac Barron, teacher at Rancho High School
“It was really scary for me to see that because in that instant you can potentially die,” said Sanchez, who attended the VR press conference with her mother, Africa.” [The message] will teach us a lot that we can’t cross through a flood. We don’t know what to expect because the water was rising so fast.”
– Sierra Leone Sanchez, student