The Power of Playbacks

Did you know that the ability to rewatch a completed drive is included with the STISIM Drive software? That’s right, a very handy, though often overlooked tool, is the ability to playback a drive that has already been finished.

For every drive that’s completed with the STISIM Drive software, two files are created: a raw data file (more about that at a later time), and a playback file.

You might wonder, “Why on earth do I need a playback file?!” Believe it or not, there are a lot of things you can do with a playback file (depending on your application).

  • As you analyze the data you’ve gathered, you might come across a strange performance or outlying data. If this happens, you can load up a playback and watch the drive to see exactly what the driver was doing during the time period in question.
  • Some researchers include watching playbacks as part of their experimental design. They even take measurements or record other data based on what they see during the playbacks.
  • Playbacks can be used as evidence at the end of the drive. They can show the driver exactly what they did right – or wrong. This can be used as part of an intervention process, for training purposes, or as positive feedback.
  • While we don’t specifically recommend it, the playbacks can be used to gather additional data that was either missed during the actual drive, or for further analysis.

How to Use the Playback Function

This is what it looks like when you choose the “Playback File” option.

Not only are playbacks useful, they’re also easy to use. Just follow these steps and you’ll be watching in no time.

  1. Fire up the STISIM Drive GUI
  2. Make sure you’re in the “Drive” tab (this is the default setting when the software launches)
  3. Click on the “Playback Previous Drive” option
  4. Select the playback file that you want to watch
  5. Select any additional options you might require
  6. Click on the “Play” button
  7. When the playback is loaded, use the control dashboard to manipulate the run.

Want to know all the options available for playbacks? Check out the Data Manual found in the C:\STISIM3\Help folder in your system.

A Few Words of Caution

Playbacks can be extremely useful, but before you hit play, there are a few things you should be aware of:

  • Playbacks are not actual video files. You can fast forward, or jump, to specific points during the recorded drive, but you can’t go backwards or rewind. If you need to go back, you’ll have to end the playback and start over.
  • Be aware that due to changes in the software, playback files do not always work across different builds of the software. It’s best to always run your playbacks on the build of software that was used to perform the original drive.
  • If you do plan to switch to a different software build, make a backup of your current software version. That way, if you’re unable to run your playback on the latest version, you can always revert back to the previous build and view it.
  • The STISIM Drive software doesn’t have any native recording capability built into it. If you want to create a true video file, you’ll need to use 3rd party screen recording software. And we have a few recommendations for how best to do that!

So there you have it! With the STISIM Drive playback feature, your hindsight can be 20/20, too!