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The Safety and Human Factors Facility includes the DriveSafety DS-600cd Research Simulator, Seeing Machines faceLAB5 system, video data extraction equipment and graduate student offices.

The driving simulator system is comprised of a 9 feet tall screen, a vehicle motion simulation platform and a full-width automobile cab including windshields, driver and passenger seats, center console, dash and instrumentation.  The DriveSafety DC-600 is a 180 degree, fully-immersive driving simulation, using Driving SimulatorDriveSafety's Vection real-time simulation software.  The system can provide a realistic driving experience with simulated vehicle dynamics, traffic conditions, and environmental conditions.  Specifically the DriveSafety DS-600c Research Simulator is a high-fidelity driving simulator system that is fully integrated with a full-width Ford Focus automobile driver and passenger compartment.  The DS-600c includes a Q-Motion platform that provides inertial cues representing acceleration and deceleration with longitudinal travel up to five inches and a pitch range of 2.5 degrees.  The simulator system includes one of the industry's most advanced scenario authoring tools with an extensive library of roads, intersections, vehicle, traffic patterns and landscapes.  The scenario building tool is a drag-and-drop application allowing the ability to script specific actions.  The simulator includes several standard data collection measurements and allows for up to 25 additional user defined measurements.  All of the data collection measurements are collected approximately every 0.03 seconds.

The Seeing Machines faceLab5 system is an innovative, remote, and non-contact eye and face tracking system that monitors gaze direction, eye closure, facial gestures and had position for laboratory and field applications.  The faceLAB system is able to work with all eye types, in light and dark environments, and with subjects wearing sunglasses, contact lenses, and most eye-glasses.  The faceLAB system provides seamless integration with the driving simulator.  The data analysis software automatically correlates eye fixation data from the eye and face cameras to the dynamic simulation approximately every 0.03 seconds corresponding to the simulator data collection.  The data is synchronized and stored in a database or spreadsheet format.

Potential Applications for the Driving Simulator and Head-Tracking System

  • Road and Intersection Designs - layout, traffic flow, work zones, signs and signals, pavement markings and controls, external advertisements, external events, in-vehicle signals, warning lights/sounds, difficult maneuvers such as left turns, merging, stopping, backing, parking, acceleration, passing, lane changes, lane choices, roundabouts, etc.
  • Conditions -night, dusk/dawn, temperature variance, rain, snow, fog, pavement types, road contour, road width, shoulder width, confusing or new exchanges or patterns, etc.
  • Distractions -cell phones, radios, CD/MP3 players, headphones, video systems, computers, cruise control, and driver assistance systems; impact of other passengers Camera(adult, children, infants); impact of eating and/or drinking while driving; etc.
  • Attitudes -impact on driving performance including thoughts toward risk, authority, anger, patience, aggression, etc.
  • Age / Gender - novice and elderly drivers – inability to stay in a driving lane, misjudging distances between cars, poor decisions at intersections, behavioral impulsivity (hitting the gas instead of the break), etc.
  • Impairments -eye wear, vision correction, Glaucoma; blocked or narrow field of vision issues including left and right side blind spots; driving and loss of hear hearing; driving and drugs (legal and illegal); and driving and alcohol; etc.
  • Medical Conditions - neurological impairment or disease; e.g., Alzheimer’s, ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, diabetes, bipolar disorder, epilepsy; driving performance of handicapped, those using prostheses, etc.
  • New Vehicle Equipment - in-vehicle information systems, proximity warning systems, rear video systems, restraint systems, data recording systems, mapping systems, etc.
  • Rehabilitation and Fitness - traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, coronary disease, extremity injuries, major and minor surgery, hours behind the wheel, lack of sleep, time of day, frequency of exercise, occupational impact, etc.
  • Learning and Training- relationships between speed, breaking and following distance, responding to unsafe and dangerous driving actions, emergency situations, and improving driver confidence.

Ohio Research Institute for Transportation and the Environment
Russ College of Engineering and Technology
Ohio University
136 Stocker Center
Athens, OH 45701-2979
Tel: (740) 593-1465
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