The University of Leeds Driving Simulator (UoLDS) continues to be one of the most technically advanced driving simulator suites in use within a research environment in the world today, exploiting leading-edge motion base technology to create high fidelity and dynamic simulated driving and traffic environments.
The facility consists of a large motion-based driving simulator, an advanced commercial truck simulator, and an immersive pedestrian laboratory. The simulators are developed and managed by a multi-disciplinary group of academic and technical staff from the Human Factors & Safety research group at the Institute for Transport Studies. Using funding from the UK and European government grants, industry, and private organisations, the group studies the interaction of drivers and pedestrians with new technologies, typically before they are fully implemented on roads and in the vehicle.
The team has over 20 years’ experience developing cutting-edge, innovative scenarios suited to the needs of its funders. Realistic and repeatable scenarios allow studies on driver and pedestrian behaviour to be conducted in a safe and controllable environment, substantially reducing the costs associated with the development of real systems, infrastructures or prototypes.
Results from studies conducted on the UoLDS suite have had a substantial influence on National and International policy. For example, research on the driving simulator has shaped the understanding of how driver distraction affects road safety, providing guidelines for the implementation of speed advisory systems. Other recent work has focused on the implementation of driver-friendly ecoDriving systems and human factors within highly automated vehicles.