Eindhoven researchers receive Ig Nobel Prize for studying pedestrians

Researchers at the Eindhoven University of Technology have been awarded the Ig Nobel prize for their study of…people bumping into each other?

Yep, you read that right. The researchers, Alessandro Corbetta and Federico Toschi, were presented with the prize for their research into pedestrians’ behaviour in crowds. 🚶‍♂️🚶‍♂️

The Ig Nobel Prizes are awarded for unusual scientific research or achievements, and they take place before the prestigious Nobel Prizes in Stockholm.

The study

The 2018 study analysed the movements of five million pedestrians in the Eindhoven train station, using sensors under the station platforms.

Their study found that people keep an average of 75 centimetres away from one another to avoid bumping into them. 💥

“People are constantly avoiding collisions with oncoming traffic by pre-changing their walking path if a collision is imminent,” says Corbetta.

If people didn’t change their walking path, 18,000 people would have crashed into each other! 😲

In the end, only 80 pedestrians ran into each other.

Making places safer

Researchers hope that the study will make places where lots of people gather, like museums and festivals, safer and more organised.

Did you know? Japanese researchers also won an Ig Nobel Prize for studying why pedestrians sometimes collide.

What do you think about the research? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image: Madrabothair/Depositphotos

Nicole Ogden
Hailing from the bustling city of Bangkok, Nicole is a Thai/American international student who came to the Netherlands to study linguistics. When she's not reading books or listening to true crime podcasts, she's practising her singing and guitar skills! She is also attempting to pick up the Dutch language (moeilijk).


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