|RESEARCH SIMULATOR SOFTWARE:||CLINICAL APPLICATIONS:|
|Description: Research simulator software for Human Factors research and to create experiments into car driving behaviour for use at Universities and research institutes. For price information, see here||Description: Car driving simulator software to evaluate clinical driver fitness, to treat driving phobia, assessment of driver skills such as brake reaction time, etc.|
|DRIVER TRAINING SOFTWARE:||SAFETY AWARENESS TRAINING:|
|Description: Car simulator software for driver training, varying from basic vehicle control to driving in complex traffic environments and night, rain, fog, etc. For price information, see here||Description: Car simulator software to promote awareness of hazards in young drivers: effects of driver distractions (for example texting and driving) on driving performance, effects of alcohol on driving, and eco driving|
Driving simulator software for various applications
Carnetsoft develops driving simulator software for driver training and research. The driver training curriculum contains all the lessons your trainee needs to become a skilled and safe driver. The emphasis is on learning to drive safely. Not only vehicle control is learned and practiced, also safe traffic participation in different environments (urban, rural, highways, roundabouts, etc.) is a prominent part of the training program. Carnetsoft takes active measures to reduce the incidence of simulator sickness.
The Carnetsoft car driving simulator has applications for
driver training in driving schools,
- safety awareness training
behavioural research at universities
clinical assessment and assessment of driver fitness.
The driver training software excels on two aspects that are very important in driver training:
– task automation: to become skilled in a task, such as car driving, extensive practice is important. Only when tasks are extensively trained task performance becomes automatic. Repetition of driving tasks, such as gear changing, lane changing, use of the indicator, approaching a junction, application of priority rules, negotiating roundabouts etc. makes sure the trainee practices all these tasks extensively, which results in task automation. When essential tasks are performed automatically, they require much less conscious attention: the driver can focus and anticipate on unexpected events and divide attention to a wider view of the surroundings. This is the main factor that makes driving safer. A better skilled driver is more aware of hazards in the surroundings, looks further ahead, scans the surroundings of the car more frequently and checks the mirrors regularly. Situational awareness is of key importance for safer driving.
– visual scanning: the virtual instructor monitors the scanning behaviour of the trainee continuously, via a head tracker. It evaluates whether the driver has checked the mirrors, and looks to the left and right when approaching an intersection, or checks the shoulders when changing lanes. Visual scanning is an important part of safe driving that must be integrated in the driving task and become second nature. Beginner drivers often lack the attentional resources to scan sufficiently which is one of the most important reasons why they fail their driving test. As drivers become more experienced, and the task requires fewer controlled and conscious attention because of task automation, more attention is allocated to visual scanning of the mirrors and the surroundings which results in safer driving. The driver training curriculum in the driving simulator integrates visual scanning in the driver training from the start which is one of the reason why this type of training is so effective.
Task automations and consistent evaluation and feedback on scanning and driving errors are things a car driving simulator is superior in, compared to the usual method of driver training in a learner car. Feedback is consistent, the virtual instructor in the driving simulator checks consistently for driving errors. Quality of instruction and feedback is high for all students, and the reports, generated by the student assessment system are detailed and present a complete picture of progress of your trainees.
The development of driving simulators
Training simulators were first used in the military training sector where they are used to teach aircraft-, ship-, tank- and landvehicle control. Simulators are also heavily used in space travel, and NASA has a complete simulation department for training astronauts. Simulators are used by Universities and research institutes to study the effects of road infrastructure and in-vehicle-devices on driver behaviour, see for example the driving simulator of VTI in Sweden. The biggest and most expensive research driving simulator in the world is located in Iowa. One of the best known applications of training simulator is ofcourse in pilot training for aircraft.
Simulation systems have been applied for a longer time in driver behaviour research and the car industry, but are increasingly being used for driver education. Since the year 2000 driver education car simulators are increasingly being used by larger driving schools in a number of countries. The price of hardware has been reduced since then which resulted in some increased use in other countries as well, for example, South Africa, The Emirates, Japan and the United States. The use of driving simulator systems has increasing in a number of countries, expecially by driving schools that focus on high standards. However, since the driver training industry is fairly conservative and not very technology-driven, there is still a lot of progress to be made. Also, driver training in a car is relatively cheap, so the cost benefits of using a driving simulator for driver training are more limited compared to learning to fly an aircraft. However, because driver training on the road has a number of distinct disadvantages, learning to drive in a simulator is better in terms of training efficiency.