Car Simulator (UoLDS)

The University of Leeds Driving Simulator (UoLDS)

Interior of the UoLDS

Jaguar S-type vehicle cab

  • The simulator’s vehicle cab is a 2005 Jaguar S-type, with all driver controls fully operational.
  • The driver can feel accurate loading at all the normal controls, including the steering wheel and brake pedal. Inside the cab, all of the inherent dashboard instrumentation functions normally.
  • An 80W 4.1 sound system provides audio cues of engine, transmission and environmental noise.
  • The vehicle’s internal Control Area Network (CAN) is used to transmit driver control information between the cab and the network of PCs that manage the overall simulation.
  • A Seeing Machines faceLAB v5 eye-tracker is housed within the vehicle cab, allowing the driver’s gaze angle to be recorded in real-time to an accuracy of within ±1°.
  • A Liliput 7” TFT touch-screen display is mounted on the dashboard. The screen allows the simulation of in-vehicle task and systems, such as a navigation device.

Image generation

UoLDS cab

  • The Jaguar is housed within a 4m diameter, composite, spherical projection dome.
  • A real-time, fully textured 3-D graphical scene of the virtual world is projected on the inner surface of the dome.
  • The projection system consists of five forward and three rear channels. The forward channels are edge-blended to provide a near seamless total horizontal field of view of 250°. The vertical field of view is 45°. The central rear channel (60°) is viewed through the vehicle’s rear-view mirror, whilst LCD panels are built into the Jaguar’s wing mirrors to provide the two additional rear views. The display resolution of all channels is 4.1 arcmin per pixel.
  • This imagery is generated by five dedicated PCs, housing nVidia FX3000G and nVidia FX4500G graphics cards. The eight visual channels are presented at 60 frames per second and at a resolution of 1920×1200 (800×480 for the two wing mirror displays). The PCs are frame-locked to avoid any “tearing” of the visual image.

Motion system

UoLDS motion system

  • The Simulator incorporates a 2.5t payload, eight degree of freedom (DoF) motion system. The electrically driven motion system consists of a six DoF hexapod built up upon a two DoF xy-table. The system was manufactured by Bosch Rexroth.
  • High and medium frequency lateral accelerations (e.g. a lane change) are simulated by sliding the whole vehicle cab and dome configuration along the railed x-y table. Low frequency, sustained cues (e.g. a long, sweeping curve) are simulated using the tilt co-ordination of the hexapod.
  • The whole xy-table can also slide longitudinally along tracks to mimic the vehicle’s acceleration and braking. The 10m long rails and tracks allow 5m of effective travel in each direction. The motion-base enhances the fidelity of the simulator by proving realistic inertial forces to the driver during braking and cornering. It also provides lifelike high-frequency heave, allowing the simulation of road roughness and bumps.