Science & Technology

Car Simulator

Car Simulator
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  Car Simulator (Dr. Asawari Dudwadkar, Aditya Gogwekar, Mansi Mistry, Rushabh Patil)  Department of Electronics V.E.S Institute of Technology Mumbai  –   400074 asawari.dudwadkar,aditya.gogwekar,mansi.mistry,  Abstract  —   While aircraft simulators are used to test skills of pilots, car simulators are rarely used even though the casualties due to car accidents are much higher. Driving licenses are issued without much scrutiny and hence a lot of people without the pre-requisite training can drive vehicles. Our proposed setup could serve as a check while issuing driving licenses by ensuring that all prospective drivers can handle all on-road situations without the need of having to create a physical environment to test the drivers.  Keywords  —   Car Simulation, Driving Safety, Traffic Hazards I.   I  NTRODUCTION  Automobile driving simulator is a rather new application of computer technology compared to the flight simulator used in aerospace industry for almost fifty years. Now, automobile industry can develop simulators for ground vehicles at low cost due to the huge increase in computing power. This has eliminated the need of actual vehicles for testing and development thus reducing further the costs. Driving simulators were first developed for the training of a large number of personnel in the tactical use of war machinery during the Second World War. In the early 1960's, they were applied in the research field to study driver behaviour and his/her interaction with the vehicle and the road environment. The latest trend to the development of driving simulators (after 1985) is to fulfil the specific needs of a particular group, whether this is an automotive industry, a private research institute or a university. Driving   simulators are used for entertainment as well as in training of driver's education courses taught in educational institutions and private businesses. They are also used for research purposes in the area of human factors and medical research, to monitor driver behaviour, performance, and attention and in the car industry to design and evaluate new vehicles or new advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). In addition to studying driver training issues, driving simulators allow researchers to study driver behaviour under conditions in which it would be illegal and/or unethical to place drivers. For instance, studies of driver distraction would be dangerous and unethical. With the increasing use of various in-vehicle information systems (IVIS) such as satellite navigation systems, cell phones, DVD players and e-mail systems, simulators are playing an important role in assessing the safety and utility of such devices. Simulators are also used in  psychometric testing, driver behaviour mapping, analysis of driving patterns for driverless car development, etc. Example: Central Road Research Institute and Faros Simulation System have jointly developed a car simulator for extensive research  purposes. There exists a number of types research driving simulators, with a wide range of capabilities. The most complex, like the  National Advanced Driving Simulator, have a full-sized vehicle  body, with six-axis movement and 360-degree visual displays. On the other end of the range are simple desktop simulators such as the York Driving Simulator that are often implemented using a computer monitor for the visual display and a videogame-type steering wheel and pedal input devices. These low cost simulators are used readily in the evaluation of basic and clinically oriented scientific questions.[10] The issue is complicated by political and economic factors, as facilities with low-fidelity simulators claim their systems are "good enough" for the job, while the high-fidelity simulator groups insist that their (considerably more expensive) systems are necessary. Research into motion fidelity indicates that, while some motion is necessary in a research driving simulator, it does not need to have enough range to match real-world forces. Recent research has also considered the use of the real-time photo-realistic video content that reacts dynamically to driver behaviour in the environment. II.   L ITERATURE REVIEW  Wang Y., Zhang W., Wu S., Guo Y. (2007) published a  paper on “ Simulators for Driving Safety Study ”. In: Shumaker R. (eds) Virtual Reality. ICVR 2007. Driving simulator is an important facility for driving safety study. This  paper introduced three well-known large-scale moving-base driving simulators and two fixed-base simulators. Driving simulator has a broad range of applications of driving safety study, from driver’s behaviour study to vehicle device and technology study, the paper reviewed seven main research aspects including behaviour study, driver education and training, transportation infrastructure, medicine and therapy,  ergonomics, Intelligent Transportation System, and administrative method.[2] Ying WANG, Ke-bing LIAO, Wei ZHANG, Su WU (2011)  published a paper on “ Application of Driving Simulation System on Testing Driver's Reaction to Road Hazards ” in Journal of System Simulation volume 6. This paper talks about driving simulation system, based on virtual reality technology, could be applied broadly in road safety study and driver's training due to its advantage in producing both safe and replicable environment. It is believed that novice drivers are less prepared for hazards and their reaction pattern to hazards is different from experienced drivers. This study developed a virtual driving environment including 15 road hazard scenarios identified from focus group discussions and questionnaires in Beijing. [3] Blana, E. (1996) published a paper on “ Driving Simulator Validation Studies: A Literature Review ” Institute of Transport Studies, University of Leeds. This paper discusses existing validation approaches, methodologies and criteria. It also gives a general introduction of various types of car simulators built until 1996. The results of the driving simulators are classified according to validation criterion. It emphasises on interpreting the findings of these classification by comparison and in particular to their applicability in real road traffic situations. [4] Garrett Weinberg and Bret Harsham. Developing a Low-Cost Driving Simulator for the Evaluation of In-Vehicle technologies.  First International Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications. It  presents a case study concerning the development of a driving simulator at Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories. By relying largely on off-the-shelf components, they have kept the total system cost under USD 60,000 and yet attained a level of fidelity comparable with more expensive, custom-build research simulators. [1] H. Hoskins, A & El-Gindy, Moustafa. (2006). Technical report: Literature survey on driving simulator validation studies.  International Journal of Heavy Vehicle Systems. 13. .10.1504/IJHVS.2006.010020. This paper presents different interpretations of validity in the context of simulators and vehicle simulation models found in the literature. Examples of different approaches to validating simulators and vehicle simulation models from studies found in the literature are  presented. [6] III.   A PPROACH  Driving simulators of the past and in general use are too sophisticated and very expensive. Our aim was to develop something simple yet useful and that can be easily adopted everywhere with just a PC with average configuration. To serve this purpose, the first task was to identify a PC game that could  be easily configured according to the software and hardware. Also, it had to be robust and work smoothly on any machine. This marked the first step in development of the project. The second step was to look for a suitable programmable  board which would act as an interface between the hardware and the software. The board needed to have the capabilities to emulate joystick or a keyboard over USB so as to meet the requirements of the game. At the same time, the board had to  be compact and have sufficient computing power. As a result, Arduino Leonardo was chosen as the main computing component of the setup. The board to be programmed in such a way that the changes in analog input voltages to the board would cause changes in the game. This needed to be optimised on the board as well as on the gaming software on the host computer. This required mapping the voltages available across the potentiometers into digital equivalent and feeding it to the game. The steering wheel rotation could be precisely computed using an optical encoder use in incremental mode of operation. Lastly, the hardware assembly of steering wheel and pedal needs to be connected to the electronic component. This has to  be done with extreme precaution and accuracy so that no human error or connection error should trigger an accidental unwanted input to the computer simulation. IV.   B LOCK D IAGRAM   Fig. 1 Block Diagram V.   W ORKING  Each of the three pedals of accelerator, brake and clutch are connected to independent sliding potentiometers of 10kΩ resistance. The mechanical assembly is such that as the pedals are pressed, the slider of the potentiometer moves from one end towards the other and tracks back with the help of spring action when the pressure on the pedals is released. Thus, the change in voltage across the variable pin of the potentiometer is linear  and thus accurate representation of pressure applied is obtained as in an actual car. The further the pedal is pressed, higher is the value obtained from the variable pin. This value is conditioned to fall within a set range of values. The range chosen is 0 to 1024 for uniformity with all the pedals. Due to mechanical limitations, the sliding potentiometers cannot slide the entire range and hence, there is an offset. This offset in addition to the random error associated with each  potentiometers, is adjusted in the program with the following formula:  = (  −)∗1024  The above formula yields a result in the range of 0 to 1024 which is in the preset range as mentioned before. Using open source Joystick Library for Arduino (v2.0) by MHeironimus on GitHub, the adjusted values are passed on as axial inputs of joystick. Acceleration pedal corresponds to throttle axis, brake pedal corresponds to Y axis and clutch pedal corresponds to Z axis. The steering wheel assembly comprises of an encoder disk attached to the shaft of the steering wheel and optical encoder  positioned to detect the notches on the encoder disk. As the steering wheel is rotated, the encoder disk rotates along with it. The rotation of the disc results in change in the change in state of the two pins A and B of the optical encoder. The order in which the states of the pins change is used to determine the direction of rotation of the disc and subsequently the steering wheel. The speed of rotation is determined by keeping a count of the number of times state change occurs. The count is incremented when the disc rotates in one direction and decremented when the disc rotates in other direction. As seen earlier, the count also must fall between a set range of 0 to 1024. As there is no physical limitation on the rotation of the steering wheel, the count may increase and overflow at certain point which will cause a clockwise rotation to be indicated as anticlockwise. Moreover, since a steering wheel is centered in its normal position, the count too must be biased. Thus, an offset of 512(half of the range) is introduced in initialization of the counter. The final value of the counter is mapped to X axis of the emulated joystick of Arduino Leonardo. It is important to note that, while the values of the  potentiometers are read constantly, the optical encoder may be read only when it is rotated. This is facilitated by using the on- board interrupts of Arduino Leonardo. The potentiometers are attached to pedals which need to be constantly sampled to determine whether the car is accelerating or decelerating. On the other hand, as and when the steering wheel is rotated, the encoder value must change. Hence, there is no need for the encoder pins to be sampled continuously. Fig. 2 Setup of the Car Simulator VI.   C ONCLUSION  The main objective of this project is to show how convenient and safe it is to replace an actual car with such a setup presented for training and driving purpose. The car accidents happening will reduce drastically. A driver will get hands on experience about how to operate the car before hitting the road. The setup costs less than the actual car thus reducing the expenses. It has been stated that, “there is substantial applied research evidence that much of the training being conducted in expensive simulators could be accomplished in less expensive devices if the training programs used with them were properly designed and conducted” [7]. Differences between the real and the simulated environment related to driving speed, lateral  position, variation in speed and lateral position, steering  behaviour and mental workload emerge whatever the cost of the driving simulator. It seems that the most important element for a successful behavioural validation study is the carefully designed experimental procedure, including the statistical analysis, and the correct interpretation of the results. The project also helps the driver to deal with various obstacles and other stimulus. This helps the driver to get a knowledge as to how to react on road when such stimulus or obstacles come in the while driving on road. A full virtual experience is given to the driver which helps him/her become fit for the on road driving. A complete training can be given to him virtually. There is a question of validity whether results obtained in the simulator are applicable to real-world driving. Given the inability to replicate some simulator studies on the sidewalk this is likely to remain an issue for some time. Some research  teams are using automated vehicles to recreate simulator studies on a test track, enabling a more direct comparison  between the simulator study and the real world. As computers have grown faster and simulation is more widespread in the automotive industry, commercial vehicle math models that have been validated by manufacturers are seeing use in simulators. Driving simulators can also be used for the training of Airplane, Train, Tramway and other vehicles drivers. The simulation software can be seen as serious game, and some companies became specialists for the delivery of simulators systems (such as Oktal for instance).   VI.   R  EFERENCES  [1]   Garrett Weinberg and Bret Harsham. Developing a Low-Cost Driving Simulator for the Evaluation of In-Vehicle technologies. First International Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications. [2]   Wang Y., Zhang W., Wu S., Guo Y. (2007) Simulators for Driving Safety Study  –   A Literature Review. In: Shumaker R. (eds) Virtual Reality. ICVR 2007. Lecture  Notes in Computer Science, vol 4563. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg [3]   Ying WANG, Ke-bing LIAO, Wei ZHANG, Su WU (2011) “Application of Driving Simulation System on Testing Driver's Reaction to Road Hazards” in Journal of System Simulation Volume 6 [4]   Application of Driving Simulation System on Testing Driver's Reaction to Road Hazards Blana, E. (1996)  published a paper on “  Driving Simulator Validation”  [5] [6]   Technical report: Literature survey on driving simulator validation studies A.H. Hoskins , M. El-Gindy [7]   Simulation in Aviation Training by Florian Jentsch and Michael Curtis. ISBN:9780754628873 - CAT# Y238125 [8] b456b [9] y/tree/version [10]   
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