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Technical Paper

The Influence of Vehicle Aerodynamic and Control Response Characteristics on Driver-Vehicle Performance

The effects of changes in understeer, control sensitivity, and location of the lateral aerodynamic center of pressure of a typical passenger vehicle on the driver's opinion and on the performance of the driver-vehicle system were studied in the moving-base driving simulator at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Twelve subjects with no prior experience on the simulator and no special driving skills performed regulation tasks in the presence of both random and step wind gusts. The lower weights and moments of inertia of future passenger vehicles can be expected to change the effect of wind gusts making the evaluation of aerodynamic and control response characteristics on closed-loop wind disturbance regulation a matter of increased interest.
Technical Paper

Driver Performance in Controlling a Driving Simulator with Varying Vehicle Response Characteristics

This paper describes the effects of variations in vehicle response characteristics on driver-vehicle disturbance responses using a moving base driving simulator. Two exploratory studies are discussed, one dealing with vehicle transient response characteristics and the other with steady state characteristics. Close correspondence with full-scale data reported by others indicates that dynamically realistic simulators can be effective research tools. The flexibility of the simulator has facilitated the collection of other preliminary data which extend the full-scale findings. Considerably more effort will be needed, however, before strong arguments either for or against specific parameter boundaries can be made.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Simulator Motion on Driver Performance

The effects of physical motion and vehicle responsiveness on driver performance were investigated with a moving-base driving simulator. Twenty-four subjects were divided into four motion conditions ranging from no motion to roll plus yaw plus attenuated lateral translation. Each motion group drove the simulated vehicle with three levels of tire cornering stiffness. The presence of motion reduced driver control activity and path keeping deviations, but the effects of changing vehicle responsiveness were not disguised by reducing the number of motion cues. The results suggest, however, that motion cues become more important as driving maneuvers become more extreme.
Technical Paper

Evaluating the Driving Potential of the Handicapped Using a Simulator

The GMR Driving Simulator was used to study the performance of four teen-aged, novice drivers, two of whom had cerebral palsy. The purpose of this pilot study was to determine the potential of the simulator to discriminate between the driving abilities of medically handicapped and non-handicapped individuals. The study concentrated on the psychomotor aspects of lane-keeping performance in the presence of road curvature and environmental disturbances. The study indicates that a dynamically realistic driving simulator could be a valuable screening device for identifying potential performance difficulties in handicapped individuals prior to behind-the-wheel instruction.
Technical Paper

Study of Vehicle Steering and Response Characteristics in Simulated and Actual Driving

The effects of various combinations of vehicle steering torque gradient, control sensitivity, and lateral acceleration response time on driver-vehicle performance were investigated. Three subjects performed regulation tasks on two facilities (driving simulator and variable response vehicle) under identical disturbance inputs. The performance trends were essentially the same on both facilities, and significant interactions among the three vehicle characteristics were observed.