X. Yan, M. Abdel-Aty, D. Guo, E. Radwan

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Pages: 17-28

Visualization of highway traffic environments in virtual reality plays a key role on fidelity of simulation and validity of driving behaviors in driving simulator studies. This paper describes a procedure to replicate a signalized intersection with many complex features into a driving simulator’s 3-D databases through building a graphical visual database, constructing a road motion database, and creating simulated traffic. The validity of the visualization was assessed via the comparison of the drivers’ speeds in the simulator and the speed data at the real intersection. It was found that both speed data follow normal distributions and have equal means for each intersection approach; however, that the speeds measured in the driving simulator have a larger variability than those measured in the field. The users’ subjective evaluation results indicated that 92% subjects could recognize the simulated intersection in the driving simulator experiment. Therefore, the strategy of geo-specific environment modeling would be useful for studying driving behaviors in virtual environments.

Keywords: driving simulators; visualization; signalized intersections; validation; driving behaviors; geospecific database

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