G.E. Burnett, A. Irune, A. Mowforth

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Pages: 33-42

With respect to the use of driving simulators as research and training tools, there are fundamental human factors concerns regarding sickness (the experience of nausea, dizziness and headaches within the simulator) and validity (the extent to which drivers behave in the simulator as they would in the real world). This paper describes a study focusing on one specific hardware variable, that is, whether or not to use a real car cabin. Eighteen participants drove on two separate occasions within a fixed-base driving simulator and at specific points were requested to carry out secondary tasks. Participants conducted one drive in an “in-car” set up incorporating the body shell of a real car, and a second in an “out-of-car” set up incorporating only a car dashboard. Results indicated that the real car set up was associated with a more conservative driving style. This was particularly the case when drivers were performing secondary tasks concurrently with primary driving tasks. Furthermore, there was evidence that drivers within a real car exhibited greater situational awareness than those in the “out-of-car” set up. Finally, the research indicated that the experience of simulator sickness may be moderated by enclosure within a real car cabin.

Keywords: driving simulation; human factors; sickness; validity

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