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Driving Simulator, Hasselt University

A low-setting sun, the placement of road signs, the use of a smartphone behind the wheel and young novice drivers in the presence of peer passengers. Many factors influence our driving behaviour and thus are worthwhile examining. Insights into those factors can lead to solid solutions to the challenges we face. “Some factors such as drunk driving cannot be tested in real-life situations without putting other road users at danger. We use a driving simulator in those cases. In a driving simulator, we can examine the effects of physical, mental or visual limitations on driving behaviour in a controlled experimental environment”, said Dr Tom Brijs, professor at the Transportation Research Institute (IMOB, Hasselt University).

Driving simulation is mainly used in the domains of road safety, behaviour and road design

To get the feeling of driving in a real car, IMOB adapted a real Ford Mondeo and connected it to an advanced computer that accurately registers the participants’ driving behaviour in a virtual environment. The driving scenarios are projected on a 5m diameter screen covering a 180-degree field of view, one virtual rear-view mirror and two virtual side mirror displays. Over fifty parameters of the participants’ driving performance, including following distance, red-light running and speeding, are continuously collected by the computer. Prof. Dr Tom Brijs (IMOB, Hasselt University): “The driving simulator is a research tool we mainly use in the domains of road safety, behaviour and road design. We often combine this research tool with other modern techniques such as eye-tracking and EEG to better understand the complex interaction between man and environment.” The large driving simulator was built by IMOB’s co-workers and has received funding from the Hercules Foundation (FWO). 


Hasselt University, Transportation Research Institute
Wetenschapspark 5 bus 6, 3590 Diepenbeek


+32 (0) 11 26 91 11
imob@uhasselt.be

 


 



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