Our cars become more important to our independence as we get older. However, our risk of being involved in a fatal car accident increases as we get older.
To develop an objective assessment of a driver’s capability using a driving simulator. Our ultimate goal is to develop a graduated de-licensing system for the province of Ontario using simulators that can be deployed at testing centers across the province.
Driving simulators allow researchers to assess and train drivers under challenging conditions without endangering them. However, older adults are prone to discomfort and nausea during simulation. This condition is known as simulator sickness and it occurs because most driving simulators provide realistic visual input but are missing accurate sound, vibration, and motion.
We have begun testing with older and younger adults in our driving simulator where visual input is paired with sound, vibration, and motion one at a time. We predict that driving performance will improve and simulator sickness will be reduced when multiple senses are engaged.