Czech University Prague
Innovative car simulator on the streets of Prague,
researching the impact of psychoactive
drugs and weather conditions
on driver’s reactions.
About the project
We created two separate applications for Czech University Prague. The first, 360° ride around the historic streets of Prague, is used for promotional purposes. The second is an innovative simulator that analyses reaction of the driver to changing weather conditions and the impact of alcohol on the ability to drive. The potential route can be repeatedly configured by the user and adjusted to the subject.
The virtual technologies have been used for years by the automotive industry to test the safety of vehicles and improve skills of drivers. However, most simulators developed so far focus only on creating a realistic environment and interior design. The University wanted to create a simulator that measures the driver’s reaction to road hazards and various external factors, including psychoactive drugs. Using virtual cave technology we created a simulator integrated with mockup devices and vital signs monitors, providing comprehensive read on the driver’s behavior.
We began the process of creating the first application by recording the stereoscopic video – the base of virtual environment. We drove around the streets of Prague in a car with a special stabilization system for a camera on the roof, recording the image with two synchronously working devices. The gathered data was the start for image processing that reconstructed all elements specific for Prague’s architecture. Virtual drive is available on all devices compatible with 360° images.
The simulator is based on a virtual cave with 4 sides (the streets are displayed on both sides, front and the floor of the virtual vehicle). The user sits in a comfortable car seat and operates using a wheel and a gear stick, along with throttle and clutch pedals.
Character of the route is specified by the user. Its length, as well as the frequency and type of administered drugs, is based entirely on the purpose of the study. Eye tracking device and vital signs monitors provide information about driver’s behavior and state.
The simulator records each session and is equipped in a complex data analysis system that presents the information using charts and statistics, allowing to draw conclusions after each simulation. The project is currently in a development stage. Among potential functionalities that can enrich the application are route planning along with tracking and creating new event scenarios.