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Driver training simulator and research simulator software

Carnetsoft has a long history of development of car driving simulator software for driver training, scientific behavioural research and clinical applications.

The driver training curriculum contains all the practices required to become a skilled and safe driver. It contains lessons in vehicle control, including gear changing, lane changing, use of indicator and visual scanning of the environment. The trainee het driving practice in urban environments, villages, rural environments, highways, single and sual carraigeways, small roundabouts, lerge roundabouts, etc. Also, driving in rhe dark is practices as well as driving in fog, rain, snow, sidewind, and with a sun blinding. During driver training, getting sufficient practice in drivign in various circumstances with a lot of traffic interactions is of utmost importance, as is practice in and learning of visual scanning strategies. These aspects of learning to drive are emphasized in the simulator training curriculum.

The driver training curriculum is suitable for the initial phases of learning to drive a car. In addition, complex traffic behaviour is trained, including entering highways, negotiating roundabouts, application of priority rules, driving on motorways and in villages and towns with pedestrians and unexpected events. Training in fog, rain, snow, sun blinding and night driving are also an important part of the curriculum. The emphasis is on learning to drive safely. It has been developed for driver training in driving schools and driver education in secondary schools.
A complete desktop driver training simulator is available for €4.999,-, including a fast computer with high quality graphics board, 4 monitors, a control unit, TrackIR5 (for head tracking to evaluate scanning), soundsystem, driver training software, safety awareness training software and runtime simulation software. The driver training curriculum contains:

  • 15 databases (highway, roundabouts, urban environment, rural environment, motorways, etc).
  • 50 individual lessons that cover vehicle control, traffic participation and adverse weather and lighting conditions.
  • Vehicle control lessons: reverse parking, reversing around a corner, gear changing, steering techniques, lane changing, passing and overtaking, use of indicator etc.
  • Traffic participation: scanning techniques while approaching intersections and when changing lanes, roundabouts, motorways and highways, city driving, right of way rules etc.
  • Both left-hand drive and right-hand drive available
  • Rules of the road and road signs for various countries, for example, the UK, India, South Africa, Ireland, Australia, The Netherlands, etc.
  • Suitable and very affordable for drivers education in high schools in the USA and Canada.

The research simulator software allows you to create behavioural experiments quickly and results are analyzed efficiently. The toolset enables you to define experiments in a wide range of subjects. Experiments can be created in the domains of

  • Experimental Psychology (studies on attention, vigilance, workload, perception),
  • Social Psychology (measures to influence driving behaviour),
  • Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry (effects on exposure on phobias and anxieties while driving),
  • Human Factors research (interfaces, secondary tasks, workload),
  • Pharmacology (effects of alcohol and drugs on behaviour), studies on training and learning, studies on driver fitness,
  • etc.

And all of this for a price every human factors and experimental psychology research group can afford. The software costs €2.500,-, which is a only a fraction of the cost of comparable research driving simulator software licences.  In addition to testing your research questions and helping you to make valuable contributions to science and create publications, this research instrument is very suitable for education and training of research skills. The research simulator software includes a road database designer in which fully interactive Virtual Envirnoments can be created, a script language interface and script compiler, data analysis software and source code for the rendering software. The script language allows you to create advanced behavioural experiments with simulations of traffic, data sampling and runtime analysis, communication with other computers/applications, interaction with the driver via speech messages or graphical information and feedback.

Examples of possible experiments with the research driving simulator software are studies on the effects of drowsiness and fatigue (time on task) on steer reaction time, on the effects of distraction on brake reaction time, studies on effects of peer pressure on speed compliance, gap acceptance studies, studies on effects of secondary tasks on perception of roadside information, studies on the effects of alcohol on steer- and brake reaction times, or studies on fundamental processes of workload and selective attention while driving, etc.

A number of databases (virtual environments) is included to start with and these can be modified and extended. Also new virtual environments can be created with the tools included. Also, a number of example experiments and standard measurement tasks are included that can be modified to suit the experimental needs. A large number of variables can be sampled and stored during the experimental drives, such as standard deviation of lateral position, brake reaction time, minimum time-to-collision, time to lane crossing, headway, vehicle speed, time to intersection, use of pedals, horizontal visual gaze direction, reactiontime measurements on the detection response task, etc. Also, new secondary tasks can be programmed in the script language.

Examples of clinical applications, included in the clinical modules of Carnetsoft, are driving simulator tests for the assessment of fitness to drive and measurements of brake reaction time and steer reaction time. Assessment of fitness to drive for older drivers and drivers with neurological disorders, after CVA or sleep disorders is often performed by general practitioners and the methods used often include paper and pencil tests, blood samples and eye measurements. These methods lack sufficient ecological validity for the determination of driver fitness. Instead, a driving simulator with appropriate fitness tests has higher ecological validity: it resembles the driving tasks and testing can be done in a structured environment with the same test for all clients. Also, reliability can be much higher because of standardization of tests, larger number of measurements and the application of norm scores. A test battery is available for a one display sytem, and for a three display system. A single display software licence costs only 750,- while a 3-display licence costs 1000,-. The 3-display version has a 210 degrees horizontal field of view and spans three rendering displays plus one user interface monitor. The 1-display version is the low-cost version that can be run on lower priced hardware. Software for the treatment of fear of driving is included in the clinical modules together with a number of basic driver fitness tests and more extensive driver fitness tests.

Images from the driving simulator rendering engine:

The system has three channels for the left, center, and right out-of-the-window views, resulting in a 210 degrees horizontal field of view, each on a separate monitor. Each channel has a rearview mirror view as well. In the images below, only the center channel images are shown. The images are from systems for countries where driving is in the left lane. Carnetsoft offers software for various countries, both for left-lane and right-lane driving. Click on the image below to start the image gallery...

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