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SimDriver: Autonomous Vehicle Control Solution

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SimDriver: Scenario Generation and Autonomous Driving Simulation for Human Factors Research

Automated vehicles have the potential to reduce car crashes, injuries, and deaths. While fully autonomous driving remains a future goal, right now some driver participation is still necessary. Because it may become necessary for a human to take manual control of the vehicle in some scenarios, attentiveness is an important aspect of autonomous driving behavior. Disengaged or unfocused drivers may be unprepared to take control of a vehicle. Analyzing drivers’ behaviors in simulated scenarios through human factors research is crucial to advancing the engineering and application of ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) for fully automated driving. This will be key to ensuring safe autonomous vehicles.

SimDriver is an autonomous driving simulator designed to help you quickly create and run human factors and evaluate human interaction with automated vehicles and transfer-of-vehicle-control in a variety of simulations of real-world driving environments. With unique scenario generation, SimDriver provides a highly advanced way to measure attentiveness, as well as a number of other variables in human factors research. Quickly develop studies to test reactions and explore human-machine interaction—for example, validating a driver’s ability to take manual control of an autonomous vehicle at a moment’s notice under various conditions, from traffic events to unpredictable weather or system failures.

SimDriver is available as a plug-in for SimCreator DX (the latest generation of Realtime Technologies’ scenario authoring and development software). It offers the same simplicity and power, helping researchers create complex, custom multi-body driving scenarios without writing a line of code.

SimDriver Interface

Real-World Scenarios Test Driver Reactions in Automated Vehicles

When the simulation begins, the SimDriver code is loaded, but the vehicle is typically still under manual control. The autonomous driving mode can then be engaged by the participant through the cruise control button on the steering wheel or another button of your choice. They can disengage the autonomous mode at any time during the simulation and regain control of the steering wheel and accelerator/brake pedal.

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Autonomous Mode

Once autonomous mode is engaged, the vehicle is controlled through the SimDriver JavaScript. Sensors in the sim cab stop accepting input from the driver. The SimDriver JavaScript allows a range of conditions to be controlled by the SimVista scenario system as part of a completely automated scenario. SimDriver simulated sensors will keep the vehicle on the road and maintain a specified headway distance or desired velocity. More specifically, once engaged, autonomous control will:

  • Drive the car down the center of the current lane
  • Control the lateral position of the car so that the car remains within the lane’s boundaries
  • Control the speed of the car up to the user-defined speed limit (if set) or the road’s maximum legal speed limit
  • Maintain a configurable headway between the car and the vehicle ahead
  • Stop a configurable distance from stationary vehicles and obstacles
  • Remain in the current lane at all times, traversing through controlled or uncontrolled intersections as necessary
  • If the current lane comes to an end, SimDriver will attempt to merge onto a new lane
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  • Model any driving environment: city, freeway, residential, commercial, inclement weather, poor visibility, any type of traffic behavior, etc.
  • Validate autonomous vehicle programming before creating costly prototypes
  • Evaluate human interaction with autonomous vehicles
  • Test algorithms used in the programming of autonomous vehicles
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SimDriver Helps Us Understand Human Behavior in Autonomous Vehicles—Safely and Cost-Effectively

SimDriver helps you improve transportation safety by observing, measuring, analyzing, and understanding driver behaviors in autonomous vehicles.

SimDriver’s code validation in the simulator is a considerably more cost-effective and safer alternative than an expensive prototype. Without endangering anyone, requiring extensive setup, or waiting for the desired hazardous weather conditions, simulations run through SimDriver can help you gather data to explore why drivers become distracted, or where the excel or fall short in interacting with ADAS and other similar features. You get efficient insights into how to smoothly re-engage drivers in the task of driving.

SimDriver provides for more timely evaluation of your algorithms and ADAS strategies. SimDriver has been implemented using JavaScript so researchers can modify both parameters and algorithms using their existing skills with the SimVista scenario system. Whether the output of your research is intended for academic publication or to assist in the development of a self-driving vehicle for an automotive manufacturer, SimDriver provides you with the tools you need for recording and processing human behavior data and transforming it into a validated and highly advanced, accurate model.
Realtime Technologies is committed to offering high-fidelity simulation systems that deliver a world-class, state-of-the-art experience within the simulator. This is to ensure that the physiological and psychological factors you’ve captured in the laboratory translate to the field. Our software and hardware have the ability to assist in the development and validation of sophisticated models, and enable you to simulate conditions that help you answer the questions at the core of your human factors analysis.

The Right Simulator for Your Autonomous Driving Research

We understand that every autonomous vehicle research and development process is unique. That’s why we invest time in understanding your needs upfront, then include your team in developing and delivering the appropriate autonomous driving simulator. We have an established track record for helping researchers, engineers, and designers simulate the ideal real-world scenario for their human factors analysis. Call us today to discuss your needs and allow us to put our expertise to work for you.

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Learn more about SimDriver

SimDriver is an autonomous vehicle control solution that allows for the evaluation of human interaction with automated vehicles in both city and freeway driving environments. SimDriver enhances the understanding of this relationship which will be key to ensuring safe autonomous vehicles.