Driver Steering Performance Using Joystick vs. Steering Wheel Controls 2003-01-0118
A fixed-base driving simulator with a 14-degree of freedom vehicle dynamics model was used to compare the lane tracking performance of test subjects using a joystick steering controller to that using a conventional steering wheel. Three driving situations were studied: a) straight-line highway driving, b) winding road driving (country road), and c) evasive maneuvering - a double lane change event. In addition, three different joystick force-feedback settings were evaluated: i) linear force feedback, ii) non-linear, speed sensitive force feedback and iii) no force feedback. A conventional steering wheel with typical passenger car force feedback tuning was used for all of the driving events for comparison. Based on the lane position data collected for twelve drivers in the above situations, the results showed that drivers' lane tracking capability (measured by using standard deviation of lateral position and number of cones hit) was superior using a steering wheel in comparison to any of the joystick settings. In evasive maneuvering, the driver performance with a joystick was comparable to that with a steering wheel. In all three driving situations driver performance using a joystick was improved with the addition of force feedback.