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Older driver behind the wheel of the Driving Simulator - inside-the-cabin shot

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Driving Simulators for Rehabilitation, Aging and Human Factors Research

Rehabilitation, Elderly Drivers

We have developed a low-cost, portable driving simulator for evaluation and advisement that, for the first time, permits an individual to drive his or her own vehicle within the simulator’s virtual universe, and to do so at a location of familiarity and comfort.

The Drive Square Simulation System™ enables three important benefits:

Because of these features, and because the simulator includes suitable visual, auditory and haptic feedback, data collection and analysis capability, and immediate feedback of results, this technology can be especially useful to organizations whose mission includes health care, outreach, and assistance in maintaining an independent lifestyle for the elderly.

Using a Head-Mounted Display (HMD) the driver has an ability to see 360 degrees by turning the head. However if an HMD use is undesirable, the Drive Square Simulation System can be used with the following alternative screen configurations:

With either configuration we recommend using the STISIM simulation engine for easy driving scenario design and modification or the KMW software if a higher-quality video rendering is essential.

Human Factors Research

Since the simulator is portable and easy to set up anywhere, it can be brought to your subjects, instead of asking them to come to a research facility.

Smart Car Driving Simulator Set-up with Projector Screen

Alternative Projection Screen Configuration

This can reduce problems with human subject recruitment, especially among the elderly. They will not need to drive after the experiment, which alleviates some of the typical IRB concerns in this area.

Portability also means that you can have a larger sample size and obtain more conclusive results. Since you can employ several driving simulators simultaneously at different locations you will have access to a larger pool of people and gather measurements quicker.

The joint research project between Drive Square and University of Massachusetts (UMASS), sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIH / NIA Grant 1 R43 AG022777-01) produced a number of papers [1-5] with regard to advisement for aging drivers. Romoser et al [3] won an honorable mention award at the Driver's Assessment Conference ‘05.  More »

Our work on younger drivers in cooperation with UMASS, sponsored by National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NIH / CDC / NCIPC Grant 1_R43_CE000200-01) resulted in the dissertation by Frank Diete [6]. A shorter Power Point presentation can be found here:


Reference

  1. Romoser, M., Fisher, D.L., Mourant, R.R., Wachtel, J., Sizov, K.A., Kennedy S.I., Andra, M. (2005). Use of Driving Simulator to Assess Older Adults’ Critical Driving Skills, Paper No. 05-0589. 84th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, January.
  2. Romoser, M., Fisher, D.L., Mourant, R.R., Wachtel, J., Sizov, K.A., Kennedy S.I., Andra, M. (2005). Use of Driving Simulator to Assess Older Adults’ Critical Driving Skills, Transportation Research Record, TRB, Washington, DC. In press.
  3. Romoser, M., Fisher, D.L., Mourant, R.R., Wachtel, J., Sizov, K.A. (2005). The Use of a Driving Simulator to Assess Senior Driver Performance: Increasing Situational Awareness through Post-Drive One-on-One Advisement, 3rd International Driving Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment Training, and Vehicle Design, June 27-30, Rockport, ME.
  4. Wachtel, J., Sizov, K.A., Fisher, D.L., Mourant, R.R., Crean, C. (2005). Future Simulation Technology for Future Safety Demands in the Truck and Bus Industries. Truck and Bus Safety Future Research Conference, Washington, DC, March 23,24.
  5. Wachtel, J., Romoser, M., Fisher, D.L., Sizov, K.A., Mourant, R.R. (2005). The Potential to Enhance Older Drivers’ Critical Driving Skills Through Simulator-Based Advisement. Driver Behavior and Training Conference, Scotland, November.
  6. Diete, F. (2008). Evaluation of a Simulator Based, Novice Driver Risk Awareness Training Program. Master Thesis UMASS, Amherst, February.

 

For additional inquiries: e-mail: ksizov@drivesquare.com or call 1-617-762-4013 x.111