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Technical Paper

The Carnegie Mellon Truck Simulator, A Tool to Improve Driving Safety

Carnegie Mellon Driving Research Center, together with ISIM, is presently involved in the design and development of an Advanced Human Factors Research and Driving Training Research Facility. The facility has been designed to address human factors issues and driver training issues. Human factors interests include developing countermeasures for fatigue and driver/vehicle interface issues. Driver training issues include validating the usefulness of simulators for driver training, developing effective curricula and investigating simulator fidelity needed for effective training. A key component of the facility is the Carnegie Mellon TruckSim that will be capable of simulating a variety of commercial and emergency vehicles using interchangeable cabs mounted to a common motion platform. TruckSim's modular configuration will allow for rapid and cost effective design of experiments and training scenarios. A first research program to evaluate fatigue countermeasures is presented as an example.
Technical Paper

Experience and Skill Predict Failure to Brake Errors: Further Validation of the Simulated Driving Assessment

Driving simulators offer a safe alternative to on-road driving for the evaluation of performance. In addition, simulated drives allow for controlled manipulations of traffic situations producing a more consistent and objective assessment experience and outcome measure of crash risk. Yet, few simulator protocols have been validated for their ability to assess driving performance under conditions that result in actual collisions. This paper presents results from a new Simulated Driving Assessment (SDA), a 35- to-40-minute simulated assessment delivered on a Real-Time® simulator. The SDA was developed to represent typical scenarios in which teens crash, based on analyses from the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey (NMVCCS). A new metric, failure to brake, was calculated for the 7 potential rear-end scenarios included in the SDA and examined according two constructs: experience and skill.
Technical Paper

Simulated Driving Assessment: Case Study for the Development of Drivelab, Extendable Matlab™ Toolbox for Data Reduction of Clinical Driving Simulator Data

Driving simulators provide a safe, highly reproducible environment in which to assess driver behavior. Nevertheless, data reduction to standardized metrics can be time-consuming and cumbersome. Further, the validity of the results is challenged by inconsistent definitions of metrics, precluding comparison across studies and integration of data. No established tool has yet been made available and kept current for the systematic reduction of literature-derived safety metrics. The long term goal of this work is to develop DriveLab, a set of widely applicable routines for reducing simulator data to expert-approved metrics. Since Matlab™ is so widely used in the research community, it was chosen as a suitable environment. This paper aims to serve as a case study of data reduction techniques and programming choices that were made for simulator analysis of a specific research project, the Simulated Driving Assessment.
Technical Paper

Emergency Autonomous to Manual Takeover in a Driving Simulator: Teen vs. Adult Drivers – A Pilot Study

Autonomous and/or automated vehicles offer a host of future opportunities but leave many questions unanswered regarding their impact on crash avoidance or the ability of drivers to effectively scan and re-engage from self-driving mode when necessary to avoid crash scenarios. Considering a 16-year-old is several times more likely to die in an automobile crash than other licensed drivers, it was crucial to test both teenage drivers and adults to determine head-on collision avoidance abilities when subjected to a failing autopilot in a simulated autonomous vehicle. In this study, eight teenagers ages 16-19 and four experienced adults underwent four simulated drives (one manual practice drive and three simulated autonomous drives) using a hi-fidelity, Real Time Technologies SimDriver Simulator to represent being in a self-driving vehicle.
Journal Article

Open Source Computer Vision Solution for Head and Gaze Tracking in a Driving Simulator Environment

Inadequate situation awareness and response are increasingly recognized as prevalent critical errors that lead to young driver crashes. To identify and assess key indicators of young driver performance (including situation awareness), we previously developed and validated a Simulated Driving Assessment (SDA) in which drivers are safely and reproducibly exposed to a set of common and potentially serious crash scenarios. Many of the standardized safety measures can be calculated in near real-time from simulator variables. Assessment of situation awareness, however, largely relies on time-consuming data reduction and video coding. Therefore, the objective of this research was to develop a near real-time automated method for analyzing general direction and location of driver's gaze in order to assess situation awareness.