Visual strategies using driving simulators in virtual and pre-recorded environments

I Giannopulu, R. J V Bertin, S. Espié, R. Brémond, Z. Kapoula

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Is simulator sickness due to the conflict between visual and vestibular information?
Recent data and especially those of our laboratory [1] mentioned that patients with vestibular loss exhibit
similar symptoms of simulator sickness as healthy subjects. These observations suggest that simulator
sickness could be dependent on visual information and provide rational for testing various visual
The aim of this study is to compare subjects’ visual strategies on similar video-projected environments in a
fixed-base driving simulator. Experienced car drivers aged 25-35 years are examined. None of the subjects
have more that 10 hours of driving experience on a simulator. The subjects have normal or corrected-tonormal vision. They didn’t present cortical or sub-cortical disease (head injury or CVD).
All subjects are exposed to two visual environments: the first one is a real traffic urban scenario pre-recorded
on video; the second is the 3D simulation of the same scene. The pre-recorded visual environment is a
district of the center of Paris, between the Louvre and the Opera. Three cameras fixed on the roof of a
vehicle are used for the recording. The position of the cameras is calculated from driver’s viewpoint. The
virtual environment represented the scene above described on 3D images. These images are created by
“Realax” software. For the comparison, the same architecture of buildings, textures and size of objects are
used. The two scenes have the same physical and angular velocity. Prior to the video-projection, each subject
is submitted to an optometric examination. This examination is composed of visual acuity, heterophoria and
vergence movement measures.
In addition, the neuropsychological test “VOSP” is administered to all subjects. Once installed on the
simulator, in both environment conditions the subjects are asked to use the steering wheel of the simulator as
they would do in real life. Their visual strategies are recorded using a binocular eye tracking system (Eyelink
In both environments, each subject performs eight trials. The order of the trials is randomly assigned to each
subject. Each trial lasts around 2 minutes; the inter-trial interval is around 20 seconds. The whole experiment takes 40 minutes. It is supposed that visual strategies depend on the degree of similarity between both
Original languageFrench
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Road Safety and Simulation - Rome, Italy
Duration: 7 Nov 20079 Nov 2007


ConferenceInternational Conference on Road Safety and Simulation
Abbreviated titleRSS 2007

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