Driving Simulator lets CAVS Study Distracted Driving Affects on Law Enforcement

December 14, 2011

With a grant from the National Institute of Justice, CAVS researchers Teena Garrison and Carrick Williams are using the CAVS driving simulator to evaluate officers’ driving performance in various on-duty scenarios.

“We want to see how the officers perform under normal circumstances and then monitor how that changes when they are responding to dispatch calls or if issues arise in the simulated environment,” Garrison explained. “We will also test how communication effects their performance by seeing how they respond to calls when the information is available on screen versus having to retain it in memory.”

The driving simulator is a room-sized installation that includes three forward and one rear screen, as well as integrated side and rear-view mirrors in order to give participants the same visual experience they would get in the real world. The Nissan-donated Maxima car body rests on a motion-base that imitates the feel of a moving car including roll, pitch and yaw.

For the law enforcement study, a mobile data terminal has been added to the vehicle. It includes the technology found in many modern police cars such as a police communication radio and in-vehicle laptop computer. The researchers use these tools to imitate the daily distractions that are present for on-duty patrol officers.

To view the full article, please see: Momentum Magazine.