Simulation Validation: Evaluating Driver Performance In Simulation and the Real World


Michael Wade, Curtis Hammond

July 1998

Report no. Mn/DOT 1998-28

Simulation offers a cost-effective way to conduct research on collision avoidance and accident prevention. To be effective, simulated performance must be a valid measure of real world performance. This project sought to validate real world driving performance based on the performance of individuals driving in simulation. The study presents performance data on 14 male and 12 female volunteer subjects who drove a route adjacent to the University of Minnesota campus and then performed in a similar computer-generated driving route. Generally, subjects reported the simulated driving test comfortable and realistic; performance and characteristics of driving in the simulator closely paralleled the real world; the qualitative pattern of driving was similar; and errors and the control parameters of driving performance suggested acceptable reliability between both driving worlds. Researchers concluded that the simulator performed reliably and provided a valid set of performance data that could be used to better understand driving behavior, especially as it related to accident prevention and collision avoidance.

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