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VWN News: Interactive simulator for vehicle drivers
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 Interactive simulator for vehicle drivers

This story is from the category Total Immersion
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Date posted: 07/03/2014

Simulations are an important development tool in the automobile and utility vehicle industries – they enable engineers to see into the future. The properties of vehicle components, such as how they respond in an accident, their reliability, or their energy efficiency can be investigated using simulations before the first component is manufactured. To continue to maintain the prediction power of the results, however, all of the influences that the vehicle is exposed to later on in actual operation must be taken into account – including those of drivers and operators.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM in Kaiserslautern, Germany, have developed an interactive driving simulator using RODOS (robot-based driving and operation simulator) with which realistic interaction between human and vehicle can be analyzed. “Driving behavior is a key factor that is often insufficiently accounted for in computational models,” according to Dr. Klaus Dreßler of ITWM. No doubt there are algorithms that are supposed to represent the “human factor” in simulations – however, these do not properly reflect the complexity of human behavior. For this reason, researchers at ITWM have shifted to a hybrid design for simulation. Hybrid here means a real person interacts with a simulation environment – a well-known example of this is a flight simulator, in which pilots regularly practice extreme situations. In the automotive and utility-vehicle sector, only a few manufacturers have had this kind of facility at their disposal, as its development involves a lot of effort and expense.

For test drivers to behave authentically, they must have the feeling they are actually situated in a moving vehicle. If movements of the simulator do not match the visual impressions, this not only influences driver reactions, it can also lead to symptoms like kinetosis. Simulator sickness is triggered by contradictory sensory perceptions, the same way motion sickness or sea sickness is. “To prevent these unpleasant side effects, we have developed our motion cueing algorithms that generate the control signals for the robot in close cooperation with researchers in cognition,” explains Dreßler.

See the full Story via external site: www.fraunhofer.de



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