A PC Based Low Cost Stimulator for Driver's Education

Period of Performance: 09/30/2002 - 09/29/2006


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Systems Technology, Inc.
13766 Hawthorne Blvd. Array
Hawthorne, CA 90250
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This is a Phase II proposal to conduct a transfer of training experiment on the efficacy of training novice teenage drivers with a tow-cost, PC-based, interactive driving simulator. The simulator allows drivers to experience and interact with complex traffic situations that require hazard recognition, time constrained decision-making and appropriate psychomotor control for successful completion. A Phase I pilot experiment has shown that novice drivers initially perform worse than experienced drivers on complex traffic scenarios, and that their performance improves with repeated exposure. The purpose of the Phase II research is to test the hypotheses that novice drivers with simulator training will perform better on their licensing exams and will have better driving records (fewer accidents and violations) than a control group of novice drivers with no simulator exposure. The experimental design will involve a simple between groups comparison of novice drivers with and without simulator experience. Cognitive test data will be obtained from all subjects to be used for classification purposes (e.g. impulsive behavior). We have obtained the cooperation of school districts for student referral, and the California Department of Motor Vehicles will provide licensing exam and driving record data. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS: A low-cost driving simulator that shows effectiveness in reducing young driver accidents would have wide appeal in the training of novice drivers. Such a device could be used by both public schools and commercial driving schools. The personal computer used for the simulator could also be used for multimedia presentation of other driver education curricula such as knowledge of vehicle code, traffic rules, traffic control devices, etc.