N. Sarwate, J.M. Jenkins
The possibility of having a practice drive occur on a separate day from the experimental drive was explored in this research. A repeated measures experiment was designed to test whether the driving performance during two separate drives would differ more when the drives were separated by a longer interval of time. The simulator scenario was the same for both drives. The scenario required participants to drive a one-way, three lane freeway segment and make 75 lane changes. Half the participants drove on two consecutive days, and half the participants drove on two days, one week apart. The data recorded during each drive were reduced to describe the participants’ performance making lane changes. The accuracy of the maneuver was described by lane position and the efficiency was described by the travel time between lane changes. The two measures were then combined into a cost, such that a decrease in cost over a series of lane changes represented an improvement in performance. The total cost for each drive was calculated and used to compare the performance between the different drives and different participant groups. The performance of the two groups on their first drive was found to be the same, illustrating that the difference in the characteristics (i.e. age and sex) of the groups was not significant. Similarly, the performance of the two groups on their second drive was found to be the same. Together, these results support the notion that the practice scenario could be driven a day to a week prior to the experiment without negatively impacting the performance on subsequent experimental drive(s). Overall, the performance on the second drive was superior to the first drive thus confirming that performance generally improves with practice.
Keywords: skill retention; driving simulation; driving performance