Effects of display type and steering force feedback on performance in a medium-fidelity driving simulator

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Virginia Tech


Research has shown that head-mounted displays can produce greater presence in a virtual environment than direct-view displays. It has also been shown that after vision, haptic response is one of the most important inputs for humans in a simulated environment. This research was designed primarily to determine the performance differences associated with different display types, levels of steering force feedback, and the interaction between these two factors in a low-to-medium fidelity, PC-based driving simulator. Participants drove on a simulated driving course during which both objective driving performance data were collected (lane deviation, speed control, steering wheel angle variance, and time to the complete course) as well as subjective self-report measures including questionnaires designed to tap immersive tendencies and perceived levels of presence.

Results of the research show that the use of a head-mounted display can significantly impact driving performance in terms of speed control and lane deviation. Speed control was significantly improved (increased) and lane deviation was significantly improved (decreased) in three of the four roadway segments with the use of an HMD. Results for active steering force feedback, however, showed a significantly negative effect on driving performance with an increase in average lane deviation. Descriptive statistics showed that participants preferred the HMD and D-V equally and all but one participant preferred active steering force feedback.



HMD, driving simulator, virtual environment, force feedback, presence, head-mounted display, displays