Virtual Reality Driving Simulator
A VR driving simulator allows researchers to collect objective data without putting participants at risk. It can also lower the cost of a research experiment.
The University of Virginia is using a room-sized simulator to help autism-spectrum kids learn to drive. But the future could bring a virtual reality version of the experience right to users’ homes.
A virtual reality driving simulator allows drivers to experience different conditions without putting themselves or others at risk. It can also help them to learn and improve their driving skills, which may lead to lower insurance rates. Additionally, it can help them save on gas by reducing the number of trips they need to take.
In the past, the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine has used a room-sized driving simulator to teach autism-spectrum adults how to drive. Now, they’re converting it into a portable mixed-reality experience, so that more people can benefit from it. The new simulator can be taken home, so participants can practice their skills in a safe environment and avoid real-life accidents.
VR systems have high-end 3D visuals and head movement tracking. However, the discrepancies between the movements of the observer in the virtual world and those perceived by the human vestibular system cause simulation sickness. This phenomenon is particularly virtual reality driving simulator pronounced with multiple displays. For example, a system with three displays gives a much higher incidence of simulation sickness compared to one with two 23 inch monitors.
A VR-based driving simulator can be useful for analyzing traffic conditions, especially in foreign countries, where people are often unfamiliar with local road conditions. It can reduce accidents by allowing people to experience local driving characteristics before they travel. In addition, it can help to test new driving features before they enter the market.
Many people are drawn to the convenience of VR driving simulators. They don’t require a large budget and can be used to train drivers to safely operate vehicles in real-world scenarios. However, it is important to note that these simulations do not fully replicate the experience of driving a vehicle. Therefore, it is crucial to use a quality headset to ensure that the user gets a realistic view of the road and driving conditions.
In addition to its convenience, a virtual reality driving simulator is also an excellent tool for behavioural research. It can be used to test for a variety of factors, such as eye gaze and physiological responses. It is also a safe alternative to on-road driving experiments, which can be dangerous for participants and researchers alike.
A VR driving simulator can be used to study the effects of drinking and driving among young adults. The current study used a simple but effective design, which allowed participants to experience different scenarios in virtual reality. The simulator was designed to allow participants to view their performance in both DUI and sober modes, and to collect objective data that could be analyzed. This data would help to increase the likelihood of behavioural change in the future. In addition, the study used a simple recruitment procedure that did not involve face-to-face interactions.
A VR driving simulator offers a cost-effective alternative to on-road testing. A VR headset can deliver a similar visual fidelity as a traditional simulator at a fraction of the price, while providing a more immersive experience for participants. VR also avoids the calibration issues that plague screen-based simulations and can cause simulator sickness in some participants.
A virtual reality driving simulator is also a safer way to train novice drivers. Research has shown that VR systems can improve a driver’s spatial cognition and Morris water test outcomes, while reducing the severity of simulator sickness. It is also more effective at training driving skills than traditional methods.
Many organizations across the commercial fleet and trucking industries are already implementing VR driving simulators for training and development. The technology allows them to assess and upskill new drivers quickly, without the high costs associated with conventional in-cab training.
UVA researcher Daniel Cox has been using a room-sized simulator to help people with autism learn to drive, and is now working on a portable incarnation that will let users take the virtual-reality driving simulator home. This would expand the reach of his program and allow more individuals to gain confidence behind the wheel. He hopes to launch the device this year. It will be available on both consumer-grade VR headsets and professional-grade simulator hardware, with options to add additional features like data collection and other educational content.
Many driving simulators feature large, panoramic projection systems that immerse users in virtual environments. They also offer a variety of controls such as pedals, steering wheel, and display systems to simulate a realistic environment. The most advanced simulators use CAVE-like display systems, which provide a high degree of visual virtual reality driving simulator fidelity and immersive experience. However, they are often expensive, and their cost limits the availability of these simulators for behavioural and interaction research on driving.
Cornell Tech researchers have developed a system that could lower the cost of these simulators. Their system uses publicly available headsets to superimpose virtual objects and events on participants’ view while they drive unmodified cars in low-speed test areas. Using this approach, the research team has collected accurate and repeatable data about participants’ reactions to real-world driving tasks.
The DReyeVR platform, which is compatible with the Oculus Rift DK2, is designed to allow drivers to practice safe driving skills in a non-threatening virtual environment. The simulated training scene is rendered using Unity 3D game engine and includes a vehicle power model, force feedback (steering wheel), sound playback system, and human-computer interaction module. It also allows for closed-loop adaptivity from modalities other than performance, such as eye gaze and physiology. This technology provides a significant advance in the ability to develop effective driver training tools.