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New developments in driver observation research

04 May 2011

A novel combination of integrated technologies – motion simulators, camera vision and physiological measurements such as eye-tracking – is being developed to increase the understanding of the ways in which drivers use visual, motion, and other information to control vehicles. The first system, which has been developed for the automotive industry, will be shown on stand 5060 at the Vehicle Dynamics Expo (Stuttgart, May 14-17 2011).

By combining new and existing driver observation methods, the ‘DrivObs’ research project aims to aid the development of vehicle dynamic control systems, active safety systems, infotainment systems and human machine interfaces, and for the training of professional test drivers. DrivObs is a partnership between Cruden (professional motion driving simulators and visuals), Noldus (observation and physiology), Smart Eye (eye- tracking), Delft University of Technology, TNO (driver model identification) and VTI (the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute; speed perception).
“Cruden is dedicated to elevating the role of driving simulators in automotive research and is therefore a proud member of the exciting DrivObs initiative,” says Martijn de Mooij (pictured), Cruden project manager. “Driving simulators are established tools in enabling flexible, efficient, and safe testing of vehicle dynamics control systems and driver assistance and information systems. But traditional analysis, using objective simulator driving performance data combined with subjective driver evaluation, often fails to clarify how drivers use and adapt to new systems.
“With an array of complementary technology at the team’s disposal, we are not only accessing data that has never been used before in driver observation research, but providing a fully-integrated simulator package for use by automotive engineers, in context. The research will help Cruden further develop simulator motion-cueing so that the driver is presented with information about the vehicle in a way that is compatible with the way he/she controls the vehicle.”
Available to drive at the show is the first DrivObs demonstrator – a Cruden Hexatech motion simulator equipped with eye-tracking by Smart Eye and many data logging features – in complex driving scenarios such as highway and city driving (stand 5060). Opposite the Cruden stand, is the DrivObs stand (5255), where the team will discuss the project findings to date and demonstrate driver reactions from the simulator, via a spectator view, operating in real time. There will also be a demonstration of the post-processing possibilities, featuring Noldus Observer.

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