Carnetsoft driving simulator for research and testing

 Carnetsoft driving simulator software

desktop driving simulator

IMPORTANT NOTIFICATION

The driver training software for driving schools has been terminated. Carnetsoft specialized in research simulation software and clinical applications and this takes up all available time and resources. This means that Carnetsoft has stopped selling the driver training software to driving schools and secondary schools or any other clients that provide driver training services.

The driver training program will still be included in the research simulator software package, where the script code of all the driver training software is included. This allows researchers to study how to create scripts for experiments and can be used as a starting point to design experiments in one of the 15 virtual environments that act as a stage for the driver training simulations.

Carnetsoft has terminated the sales of the driver training program for a number of reasons:

  • The difficulties to get suitable graphics board since the Covid-19 pandemic has started has resulted in unreasonable high prices for these graphics boards. Because of that, owners of driving schools often resort to cheaper and inadequate hardware despite the recommendations, see required hardware…. and this results in too much support requests.
  • For the driver training program, a new set of databases and lessons much be prepared for each individual country, which has become unworkable because of the required development time.
  • Driving schools often lack the required technical staff, expertise and knowledge of computer graphics and realtime simulation

Software and Hardware

Carnetsoft develops and sells software for desktop driving simulator applications. A desktop driving simulator has no cockpit (or  vehicle cabin) with a driver seat. Instead, a steering wheel is attached to a table and the driver is seated in front of a four monitor setup behind the wheel. Carnetsoft does not sell driving simulator cockpits.

Carnetsoft has developed research simulator software for behavioural and human factors experiments, and applications for driver assessment and fitness to drive tests.

Its highly recommended to buy all hardware (computer, monitors, steering wheel and pedals etc.) in your country because:

  •  it saves high transport costs and import taxes
  • faster repairs in case of hardware failure
  • its usually cheaper if you buy the hardware locally
  • in a number of countries import regulations result in higher costs because of export documents.

Click here for  the required hardware specs  

Click here to ask a question

Tenders

Carnetsoft does not participate in tenders because the price of our software and for customer-specific modifications almost always is much lower than the price thresholds for procuring a tender. So all interested parties can buy this software without having to worry about tedious tender procedures.

Ordering procedure

When you order the driving simulator software, an installation will be made with all virtual environments, road signs and rules of the road adapted to your country. The language of the virtual instructor will be English. Contact us to order a research simulator licence  or ask a question.

You will receive an invoice, and the installation will be uploaded to the server within 2-3 weeks after payment, from where you can download the installation by the links you will receive then via email.

After you have all the hardware ready, the software will be installed on your computer via TeamViewer. For that, your computer needs to be connected (only for the installation) to the internet.

The regular licence is for 3-channel rendering plus a monitor for the user interface. Three channel rendering means that there are 3 monitors for the rendering channels: one for the forward view, one for the left view and one for the right view. This gives a wide horizontal field of view (5760 x 1080 pixels) .

Click here for  the support agreement.

RESEARCH SIMULATOR SOFTWARE:CLINICAL APPLICATIONS:
roaddesign-xclinical driving simulator
Description: Research driving simulator software for Human Factors research and to create experiments into car driving behaviour for use at Universities and research institutes. For price information, see hereDescription: Driver assessment car simulator software to evaluate clinical driver fitness, to treat driving phobia, assessment of driver skills such as brake reaction time, etc.

The term ”driving simulator” was originally used for machines with software developed to measure the behaviour of a car driver in a simulated environment. The first driving simulators were research simulators that were used in the car industry, to measure how people drive a car or respond to in-vehice devices, in research labs at Universities to study man-machine interactions and how drivers performed their tasks.

More recently the term driving simulator  is used more often for gaming software. This type of  driving simulators, or car simulator, is used just for fun and is not really related to normal car driving. They are more like racing simulators, but even then the driving experience is aimed at increasing the fun factor and not to replicate real car driving, see for example the games Project Cars and Need for Speed.

In these games, the players are not stimulated to be good drivers in the sense that they are encouraged to drive safely and according to the accepted traffic rules. So someone who performs well in such a ‘driving simulator’ game isn’t necessarily a good driver in a real car in the real world.

In other words: the behaviour that is expected in the game does not match the behaviour in a real car in the real world.  So, this type of software is not made to simulate real world driving and thus the term ”driving simulator” is not entirely correct in this case, although others use the term driving simulator for both fun machines as well as for training and research.

You don’t become a good driver when using these games because you are basically learning all the wrong things, the task environment does not resemble real world driving, and because there’s no instructor who’s monitoring your behaviour and giving appropriate feedback.

These games are made to impress by using state of the art graphics and bigger than life physics that are often incorrect. But they are a lot of fun to play, and that’s what they are made for. A lot of players don’t even use steering wheels or pedals to drive around.

Real driving also requires the driver to look around because visual scanning is an important part of driving, but since most games use only one monitor, visual scanning is not a serious part of these so called driving simulator games.

I prefer to reserve the term driving simulator for serious game applications:

  • for driver training, where the focus is on safe driving, automation of driving task-related skills, visual scanning, applying the traffic rules, and learning to drive in different traffic environments (highways, rural roads, towns etc.), so it is also referred to as a driver training simulator
  • for assessment of driver fitness, where the task demands have to be similar to real world driving, and the driver performs a series of standard tests that are ecologically valid, reliable and the same for all subjects. This type of application can be referred to as a driver assessment simulator.
  • for research into driving behaviour, man-machine interactions, driver safety, etc. These car simulators include functionality for data sampling, experiment construction and scenario creation, to make scientific research into car driving easier and safer. The term ‘research driving simulator’ is often referred to in this context.

The driver training software runs on a PC and includes 15 databases (highway, town, village, roundabouts, etc.) and 51 lessons. In addition, there are 13 simulations in different databases where the driver can drive freely through a database.

There are driving simulator versions for LHD (left-hand driving) on the right lane, as in the USA and continental Europe, and for RHD (right-hand driving) on the left lane, as in the UK and Ireland. There are driving simulator versions with rules of the road and road signs for a large number of countries, such as the Netherlands, Germany, UK, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, India, Malaysia, etc.

All runtime software is in compiled form in C++ and python. The software also includes the real-time rendering software, scenario- and traffic generation software and user interfacing.

Research simulator software

The research driving simulator software extension has been developed with the help of experienced behavioural researchers to become the toolset of choice for creating behavioural experiments into car driving and human factors. The extensive toolset consists of software

  • for the creation of Virtual Environments, centered around a network of roads
  • for scenario generation, where the complete experiment can be developed with an easy to learn script language
  • for data analysis and experiment setup

The scenario generation software allows you to create a route in a Virtual Environment, to define the behaviour of other traffic (vehicles, pedestrians, animals) and traffic lights, to define auditive or visual feedback, to communicate with other applications, to define the data to store and sample frequency, etc.

The research driving simulator is an excellent tool for human factors research to investigate driving-related scientific questions. In addition, the research simulator is very well suited for science education in schools and universities, to teach students how to prepare and perform behavioural experiments, and to analyze the data.

To mention a few examples of types of research the software can be used for:

  • studies on the effects of alcohol and drugs on driving performance
  • studies on the effects of distraction, secondary tasks and in-vehicle systems on driving performance
  • effects of fatigue and drowsiness on driving
  • effects of tasks on workload
  • driver behaviour modeling studies: individual differences in car following, lateral control performance, speed choice, risk taking etc.
  • effects of infrastructural modifications on driving behaviour, effects of road layout, road signs, information displays etc.
  • etc.

Clinical applications

Car  simulators are particularly known for their use in driver training, police training, and also for their application in DUI simulation and demonstrating the effects of driver distraction. However, a car simulator can be also be succesfully applied in a number of clinical applications, especially fear of driving, evaluation of fitness to drive and rehabilitation in a clinic.

Methods and techniques based on Virtual Reality are applied worldwide to treat fear effectively, for example hosophobia, fear of spiders, etc. The advantage of simulators, and virtual reality in general, consists of the opportunities it provides to practice in a safe environment while the stimuli that evoke the fear response are presented in a controlled way.

People are exposed to the fear-inducing stimuli, a technique also referred to as exposure therapy. This is probably the most effective technique from behavioural therapy to treat specific fears, such as driving phobia. Driving in a car simulator will initially be frightening for people with fear of driving, but after some time of driving, fear will typically reduce.

Fitness to drive for older drivers and drivers with neurological disorders, after CVA or sleep disorders is typically done by general practitioners using paper and pencil tests, blood samples and eye measurements.

However, a car simulator can make the fitness to drive test more ecologically valid: it resembles the driving tasks and testing can be done in a structured environment with the same test for all clients. Also, drivers assessments may take place on the road in an actual car,  The problem with that is that traffic situations and task complexity may vary which makes the tests different between different persons, instructors making the assessment and different times of day, etc.

Carnetsoft offers a number of tests for the assessment of driver fitness and a number of simulations for the treatment of fear of driving.

The development of driving simulators

Training simulators were first used in the military training sector where they are used to teach aircraft-,ship-, tank- and landvehicle control. Simulators are also heavily used in space travel, and NASA has a complete simulation department for training astronauts.

Simulators are used by Universities and research institutes to study the effects of road infrastructure and in-vehicle-devices on driver behaviour, see for example the driving simulator of VTI in Sweden. The biggest and most expensive research driving simulator in the world is located in Iowa. One of the best known applications of training simulator is ofcourse in pilot training for aircraft.

Simulation systems have been applied for a longer time in driver behaviour research and the car industry, but are increasingly being used for driver education. Since the year 2000 driver education car simulators are increasingly being used by larger driving schools in a number of countries.

The price of hardware has been reduced since then which resulted in some increased use in other countries as well, for example, South Africa, The Emirates, Japan and the United States. The use of car simulator systems has increasing in a number of countries, expecially by driving schools that focus on high standards.

However, since the driver training industry is fairly conservative and not very technology-driven, there is still a lot of progress to be made. Also, driver training in a car is relatively cheap, so the cost benefits of using a driving simulator for driver training are more limited compared to learning to fly an aircraft. However, because driver training on the road has a number of distinct disadvantages, learning to drive in a car simulator is better in terms of training efficiency.