DSC'99 - Driving Simulation Conference July 7-8, 1999 - PARIS

Contribution of a motion platform to kinesthetic restitution in a driving simulator

Gilles Reymond, Andras Kemeny
Renault Research Department, Driving Simulators Group,
1 avenue du Golf 78288 Guyancourt Cedex, France

Alain Berthoz, Jacques Droulez
LPPA, CNRS-UMR 9950, Collège de France,
11 place Marcelin Berthelot 75005 Paris, France


An experiment was carried out in the Renault driving simulator, recently equipped with a 6 degrees-of-freedom motion base, to investigate the role of kinesthetic cues (vestibular, tactile and proprioceptive) when driving inside curves. The contribution of the motion system was assessed through the measure of the experimental relationship between lateral acceleration and speed of the simulated vehicle, in analogy to similar experiments on real cars.

Seven subjects drove the simulator twice on a virtual replica of the Renault test track, once with an active motion platforrn, once without motion. Lateral acceleration and speed were recorded from the real-time vehicle dynamics model and plotted for each subject. Upper envelopes of these plots showed, as expected, a marked decrease with speed, which was represented by a linear regression. However, the slope of the regression was increased in the presence of platform motion cueing.

This effect reflects a lower estimation of driving 'danger' in the no-motion condition, based on a poorer anticipation of lateral acceleration based on visual cues only. The motion platform contributes to the multisensory estimation of this acceleration in simulator drivers, using a combination of visual and kinesthetic inputs. This represents an improvement from static simulators, where subjects generally tend to drive too fast into curves. Further scheduled experiments on real vehicles in similar conditions will help progress in the validation work in progress at Renault of driving simulators with motion platforms.