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Making driving simulators more useful for behavioral research – Simulator characteristics comparison and model-based transformation

Document Number:N2013-016
Document Type:Project report
Author(s):John Lee
Nic Ward
Erwin Boer
Timothy Brown
Stacy Balk
Omar Ahmad
Publication / Venue Name:None listed
Publication Date:2013-10-01
Abstract:A central issue in making simulators useful for highway and traffic engineers concerns how well driver behavior in the simulator corresponds to driver behavior in the real world. Simulator fidelity plays a central role in matching behavior in the simulator to behavior on the road. Simulator fidelity often refers to the features and appearance of the simulator. The degree to which behavior in the simulator matches behavior on the road defines behavioral fidelity. This project characterized the physical fidelity and behavioral fidelity of four simulators. These four simulators represent a broad range of fidelity and cost. Data collected from these four simulators begin to address the question of how simulators can support highway and traffic engineers. Overall, the results show that simulators with high physical fidelity demonstrate high behavioral fidelity and are likely to provide good estimates of mean speeds in typical engineering applications such as roundabouts and roadway treatments designed to moderate drivers’ speed. A detailed analysis of both physical fidelity and behavioral fidelity suggests the need to carefully assess the match between simulator features and the properties of the roadway design issue. A model-based transformation was developed to relate data collected in the simulators to data collected on the road. Future research should examine physical fidelity in more detail and its relationship to behavioral fidelity across a broader range of driving behavior parameters.
Copyright:None listed
Keywords:Driving simulator
physical fidelity
behavioral fidelity
roadway design

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