WIT Press

A Driving Simulator Study On The Perception Of Distances In Situations Of Car-following And Overtaking


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WIT Press


J. Bergeron, B. Baumberger, M. Paquette, M. Flückiger & A. Delorme


The principal objective of this experiment was to test how a subject can control his approach towards several simulated car-targets in different contexts of carfollowing and overtaking. We assume that these complex situations may influence driving performance according to the difficulty in perceiving distances properly. A second objective was to evaluate the influence of driving experience in the perception of distances in these situations. Fourteen drivers (7 men and 7 women) between 20 and 56 years old participated to this study. Their driving experience ranged between 2.5 and 32 years and they drove between 1 000 and 25 000 km per year The subjects’ first task consisted in stopping their car at equal distance between two static cars separated either by 34.5 or 54.5 m. The second and third tasks were typical manoeuvres of overtaking, subjects having to place their car at equal distance between two preceding cars running at 40 or 60 km/h. Results show that the subjects underestimated distances in any conditions. They were better at adjusting their own position at 60 km/h than at 40 km/h, and their performance increased with smaller car distances. The participants’ driving experience (number of years) was the most important individual variable in the differentiation of subjects’ performances. These results may be interpreted in terms of the importance of driving experience in situations of car-following and overtaking, in which drivers must estimate the position of other vehicles in reference to their own vehicle. Keywords: driving simulator, distance perception, car-following, overtaking, driving experience.


driving simulator, distance perception, car-following, overtaking, driving experience.