Applying Driving Simulation to Quantify Steering Effort Preference as a Function of Vehicle Speed 1999-01-0394
This paper describes a study to determine how steering wheel effort preference changes with vehicle speed for average drivers. These results confirm previously published data indicating drivers prefer increased steering efforts at higher vehicle speeds and extends previous work by providing a more reliable preference function. For comparison, we include similar preference data from two separate field studies as well as pilot results obtained using the General Motors Corporation (GM) driving simulator. The preference study was performed using the Swedish Road and Traffic Research Institute (VTI) driving simulator. The VTI simulator allowed the inclusion of a motion/no-motion test condition to provide some insight regarding the use of low to medium range driving simulators for similar follow-up work.
The study demonstrates the feasibility of using driving simulators to obtain customer-based vehicle design requirements for steering feel preferences. Our experience was that the driving simulator provided a more consistent experimental environment than real world road testing and the ability to investigate hardware designs that do not yet exist in the real world. It also provided an overall faster than real world testing environment that was safer and more convenient for the subjects and experimenter. The paper discusses these advantages as well as the limitations of using driving simulators for this type of investigation.