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Driving Simulator Tests

Driving Simulator Tests

To which extent are drivers distracted by using specific features of the vehicle? Which type of operating concept can help reduce such distraction? Which operating steps demand a particularly high level of attention? And do the implemented features comply with legal standards?

Driving simulator tests help answer these questions: In a first step, operating tasks are defined which reflect the everyday usage of the most important features. Next, the participants have to handle these tasks during simulated driving. Throughout the test, their operating behaviour is logged, and their eye glance behaviour is recorded by an eye tracking system. In addition, driving dynamic data, such as lane and distance keeping, is collected.

The data collected in this experimental set-up provides important insights into the quality of an operating concept in an automotive context.

  • How much attention is paid to driving when, at the same time, they have to perform other tasks, for example on the infotainment system?
  • How easily can a feature be operated (number of operation errors, operating times, glance duration), when done with reduced attention while actually driving the car (“dual task”)?
  • Does an operating system comply with the requirements of the established regulations regarding its distraction potential?

The operationalisation of attention or of distraction potential usually follows the established standards (e.g. AAM, NHTSA). For glance data, this includes single glance duration and total glance duration, while driving dynamic data comprises distance keeping and potential lane exceedances.

During the final interpretation of the data, tasks that are particularly difficult for participants are identified, and, by breaking these operations down into individual steps, we learn about how they can be optimised. Apart from being applied during the product development process, this method is often used at the end of a development process. In this scenario, the entire system is tested according to specific standards to ensure that, while driving, drivers can only access those features that do not distract them too much from their actual task, namely driving safely.

You don’t know how distracting specific features of the infotainment system can be and whether they comply with legal directives? We help you measure distraction using either your own driving simulator or ours. Do you have any general questions regarding driving simulators? We look forward to hearing from you!