A. Calvi, F. D'Amico, C. Ferrante, L. Bianchini Ciampoli
This study aims to validate the use of the fixed-base interactive driving simulator of the University of Rome Tre in analyzing the driving performance on deceleration and acceleration lanes. Specifically, the general objective of this investigation is to validate the driving simulator for use by designers in adopting the best solution for speed change lanes on roadways. For this purpose, an experimental activity was carried out on ninety participants. Specifically, the driving performance along exit and entry maneuvers, from the roadway to service areas and vice versa, was recorded in real and simulated scenarios using an instrumented vehicle and a driving simulator, where an exact representation of the existing roadway was reproduced. Validation of the driving simulator was performed by comparing field and simulation data in terms of driving speeds and trajectories of two driver samples. The main results demonstrated the relative and absolute validity of the simulator for deceleration and acceleration lanes to/from service areas. The promising results of the study allowed the authors to advance to the next step of the project, in which several scenarios will be reproduced in the virtual environment, with varying boundary conditions, namely the volume of diverging vehicles, lane lengths, and ramp locations. This allowed to compare the different solutions, as proposed by designers, and select the most effective one in terms of operational and safety performance with respect to cost and safety benefits before any implementation can be made.
Keywords: driving simulation; validation; deceleration lanes; acceleration lanes; naturalistic driving