Varying levels of reality in human factors testing: Parallel experiments at Mcity and in a driving simulator

Paper #:
  • 2017-01-1374

Published:
  • 2017-03-28
Abstract:
Mcity at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor provides a realistic off-roadway environment in which to test vehicles and drivers in complex traffic situations. It is intended for testing of various levels of vehicle automation, from advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) to fully self-driving vehicles. In a recent human factors study of interfaces for teen drivers, we performed parallel experiments in a driving simulator and Mcity. We implemented driving scenarios of moderate complexity (e.g., passing a vehicle parked on the right side of the road just before a pedestrian crosswalk, with the parked vehicle partially blocking the view of the crosswalk) in both the simulator and at Mcity. Both testing environments offer simulations of real-world driving, but with different strengths and weaknesses. Various adjustments had to be made in the driving tasks that we implemented in the two environments. In this paper, we describe the parallel experiments as they were implemented and discuss the differences between the testing environments.
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