What’s a Driving Simulator Good For?


There are tons of video game consoles on the market, and even a few virtual reality game sets, most of which offer a game or two that simulate driving in some way (GTA anyone?).

When we talk about our driving simulation system, you might be tempted to liken it to an Xbox (or whichever your console of choice is), but we’re not that (not even close). STISIM Drive is a whole lot more.

So, What’s It Good for?

In general, STISIM Drive provides three broad functions: research, assessment and training, and a safe/controlled way to test driving behaviors in relation to factors of interest. Factors such as:

Individual Driver Factors

  • Age, experience, drug/alcohol/fatigue, mental workload, deficits related to perception, cognition, psychomotor, attention, stroke, traumatic brain injury, special populations (e.g. emergency responders)

Vehicle/Device Factors

  • Controls/handling, dashboard design, warning systems, cell phones, in-vehicle telematics

Environmental Factors

  • Roadway infrastructure design, signage, weather, traffic, social norms

Intervention Factors

  • Education, training, public policy, laws, enforcement, penalties

STISIM Drive can directly assess and/or train these driving behaviors and skills using specific driving scenarios:

  • Reaction times / Time to collision
  • Psychomotor functioning/Fatigue
  • Vehicle Control
  • Visual perception / Divided attention
  • Executive functioning/memory/planning/navigation
  • Passing/gap judgement/merging
  • Hazard perception
  • Cognition

Plus, over the past 35 years our driving simulator has been used in these areas:

  • Sleep and fatigue research and assessment
  • Alcohol and illicit drugs
  • Cognitive functioning
  • TBI/PTSD research, assessment, and treatment
  • Elderly driving
  • Novice driver training
  • Distracted driving
  • Human factors research
  • Pharmaceutical Phase I and Phase III Trials
  • And more…

And, if all that isn’t enough, STISIM Drive can also simulate numerous roadway environments.

We might not be the hit new game on the hottest system, but that’s ok. Our driving simulator is doing important work for people around the world, and we feel pretty good about that!