Here at Toyota, we analyze driving techniques using a driving simulator at the Higashi-Fuji research center in order to help develop active safety technologies to help decrease the number of car accidents.
Driving simulators developed and introduced by Toyota create a driving environment so realistic that the driver does not feel like they are in a simulator. This makes Toyota's driving simulators one of the world's best.
The driving simulator uses driving images and an adjustable speed generator to emulate a situation that is too dangerous to reenact with an actual car or a driving situation under a specified condition.
Studies indicate 93%of accidents are due to driver recognition misjudgment errors (Fig.1).
To help prevent drivers from these types of accidents, Toyota uses this driving simulator to step into the human (driver) domain and has begun the implementation of future active safety technologies.
Not only provide a realistic image, but also recreate realistic sounds and vibrations
There will be a spherical screen inside the dome that spreads a 360 degree high resolution image.
Road vibration would be felt as soon as the driver starts the car. The driver can also hear the road noise and the sound of wind as if they were really driving.
The driver would feel the same acceleration as a real car when adjusting speeds and turning at a curve.
Leading edge technology has made it possible to create a realistic feeling that lets the driver forget that it is a simulator.
These are all innovations to collect realistic driving environmental data from test subjects.
Engaging in decreasing everyday accidents
The views from the vehicle are scenes that are seen when commuting to work or while driving on a day off.
There isn't any drama in that.
This driving simulator can recreate any town that exists in the world with any kind of climate condition.
However, there is a reason why we chose ordinary everyday scenery. The reason lies in the fact that most car accidents occur in an ordinary everyday location.
It is essential to analyze drivers that make mistakes in a normal driving situation and to accumulate those results for developing active safety technology.
Able to test a driving situation that is impossible in the real world
Even when using a test course with a controlled environment, conducting tests on drivers who are drowsy, distracted or driving under the influence of alcohol can be dangerous. However, these simulations can be conducted safely by using the driving simulator.
By using the line of sight measurement device, we research what drivers would be seeing under various conditions. Concurrently, Toyota measures the amount of driving maneuvers, such as steering, accelerating and braking.
Furthermore, it is possible to obtain a range of data, such as the driver's brain waves and the heart rate, for analyzing the driver's psychological and physiological conditions. By using these, Toyota is researching and creating driving support technologies that will be applied to actual vehicles to keep danger away from the driver.