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Driving simulators are very suitable test beds for the evaluation and development of intelligent transportation systems (ITSs). However, the impact of such systems on the behavior of individual drivers can properly be analyzed through driving simulators only if autonomous vehicles in the driving scenario move according to the system under evaluation. This condition means that the simulation of the traffic surrounding the interactive vehicle should already take into account the driver's behavior as affected by the system under analysis. Currently, this “loop” is not properly tackled, because the effects on individuals and traffic are, in general, separately and, often, independently evaluated. The integration of traffic and driving simulations, instead, may provide a more consistent solution to this challenging evaluation problem. It also opens up new scenarios for enhancing the credibility of both traffic modeling and driving simulation and for their combined development. For instance, because drivers directly interact with driver/traffic models in a driving simulation environment, such models may also be tested against nonnormative behavior, and this case seems the only way to test driver/traffic models for safety applications. Based on this idea, this paper describes the integration of a driving simulation engine known as SCANeR and a traffic-flow microsimulation model known as AIMSUN. Methodological and technical issues of such integration are first presented, and future enhancements for higher consistency of the simulation environments are finally envisaged.
Intelligent Transportation Systems, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:12 , Issue: 2 )
Date of Publication: June 2011