J.M. Jenkins, B. Moran
The purpose of this research was to develop a scenario for participants to practice steering in a driving simulator and verify the improvement in steering control over time by analyzing driving performance. This work is motivated by the need for a set of evaluation tools to determine when participants have received sufficient practice. Practice scenarios typically provide participants a fixed length or fixed time drive, or allow them to drive until they feel comfortable controlling the vehicle. These scenarios are not regularly accompanied by an analysis of driving performance and therefore do not offer the needed assurance that the participants are ready to proceed with subsequent experimental scenarios. The developed scenario provides participants a target acquisition task requiring repeated steering inputs, similar to a slalom course. This particular scenario was designed such that each participant’s performance can be evaluated, free of any threshold, criterion, or benchmark value, making it applicable to any participant and driving simulator. The majority of participants who drove this scenario exhibited a remarkable improvement in steering performance, indicating a significant adjustment in their use of the steering wheel. Monitoring the improvement in driver performance will be useful in future studies to assess whether participants have received sufficient practice.
Keywords: driving simulator; steering control; practice scenario