A driving simulator development project at the Systems Engineering and Technical Process Center (SE/TP) is exploring the role of driving simulation in the vehicle design process. The simulator provides two vehicle mockup testing arenas that support a wide field of view, computer-generated image of the road scene which dynamically responds to driver commands as a function of programmable vehicle model parameters. Two unique aspects of the simulator are the fast 65 ms response time and low incidence rate of simulator induced syndrome (about 5%).
Preliminary model validation results and data comparing driver performance in a vehicle vs. the simulator indicate accurate handling response dynamics within the on-center handling region (<0.3g lateral acceleration).
Applications have included supporting the development of new steering system concepts, as well as evaluating the usability of vehicle controls and displays.