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The Iowa Driving Simulator (IDS) is a high-fidelity, immersive virtual environment for driving simulation. It supports a variety of applications, ranging from traffic safety research to full-scale test and evaluation of vehicle designs. The IDS places an operator at the controls of a detailed, computational vehicle model in a rich, fully interactive environment, including traffic, roadway, and other environmental characteristics, while providing the driver with high-fidelity motion, visual, auditory, and force feedback cues. The immersive virtual environment can create a range of driving conditions from high density, multilane urban freeways to two-lane rural roads and off-road terrain. A wide variety of scenarios and events can be specified to meet experimental needs. The authors describe the capabilities and underlying architecture of the IDS and the approach used to model and control the virtual environment. Several current applications of the IDS are highlighted, including its use in the study of human-factors issues for an automated highway system and creation of a "virtual proving ground" for engineering evaluation of military and commercial vehicles. As of July 1995, approximately 1,000 experimental runs have been conducted in conjunction with 22 separate studies using the IDS. Another 450 runs will be made before the end of the year.
driving simulation, immersive environments, automated highway systems, virtual prototyping

Y. Papelis, D. Evans, G. Watson, J. Kuhl and R. Romano, "The Iowa Driving Simulator: An Immersive Research Environment," in Computer, vol. 28, no. , pp. 35-41, 1995.
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