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Skill Retention for Driving Simulation Experiments
Sarwate, Nikhil Ravindra

2015, Master of Science in Civil Engineering, Cleveland State University, Washkewicz College of Engineering.
Whether driving a car in the real world or a simulator vehicle in a computer generated world, the procedural aspects of driving are very similar. The steering wheel is used to control the direction of the vehicle while the accelerator and brake pedals are used to control the speed. This similarity means that people who already possess the skill of driving in the real world are expected to transfer those existing skills to drive a simulator vehicle. Recognizing the need for skill transference, the typical protocol for conducting driving simulation experiments includes a practice drive, which affords participants the opportunity to learn to drive the simulator vehicle. Previous research has shown that some participants quickly learn to interact and exhibit consistently good performance while other participants first exhibit poor performance and require time driving, or repeated trials of a particular task, to improve their performance.
One of the risks of driving a simulated vehicle is experiencing symptoms of simulator sickness. The occurrence and severity of these symptoms are believed to increase with continued exposure. Therefore, it would be valuable if the practice drive could be completed on a different day than that of the experimental drive(s). Such an approach would allow sufficient practice without requiring participants to remain in the simulator for a prolonged period of time. The possibility of having the practice occur on a separate day from the experiment was explored in this research.
A repeated measures experiment was designed to test whether the driving performance during two separate drives would differ more when the drives were separated by a longer interval of time. The simulator scenario was the same for both drives. The scenario required participants to drive a one-way, three lane freeway segment and make 75 lane changes. Half the participants drove on two consecutive days, and half the participants drove on two days, one week apart.
Forty-two participants were recruited from the Cleveland State University’s student body, staff and faculty through paper advertisements and person-to-person contact. Thirty two participants, 21 males and 11 females, ranging in age from 19 to 30 years, completed two drives. During each drive, data about the use of the controls and the movement of the simulator vehicle were recorded.
The data recorded during each drive were reduced to describe the participants’ performance making lane changes. The accuracy of the maneuver was described by lane position and the efficiency was described by the travel time between lane changes. The two measures were then combined into a cost, such that a decrease in cost over a series of lane changes represented an improvement in performance.
The total cost for each drive was calculated and used to compare the performance between the different drives and different participant groups. The performance of the two groups on their first drive was found to be the same (z=-0.673), illustrating that the difference in the characteristics (i.e. age and sex) of the groups was not significant. Similarly the performance of the two groups on their second drive was found to be the same (z=-0.516). Together, these results support the notion that the practice scenario could be driven a day to a week prior to the experiment without negatively impacting the performance on subsequent experimental drive(s). Overall, the performance on the second drive was superior to the first drive (z=2.66) thus confirming that performance generally improves with practice.
Jacqueline Jenkins, PhD (Advisor)
Norbert Delatte, PhD (Committee Member)
Lutful Khan, PhD (Committee Member)
201 p.

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Sarwate, Nikhil. "Skill Retention for Driving Simulation Experiments." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Cleveland State University, 2015. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 21 Jul 2018.

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Sarwate, Nikhil "Skill Retention for Driving Simulation Experiments." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Cleveland State University, 2015.


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