Western Australia will become home to a high tech, custom-made driving simulator set to help researchers improve road safety in the state.

The simulator, the only one of its kind in the world, will be based at The University of Western Australia’s (UWA) Western Australian Centre for Road Safety Research, enabling researchers to test the safety of new road designs.

Jointly funded by the Road Safety Commission ($450,000), Main Roads Western Australia ($160,000) and UWA ($100,000), the simulator will provide new opportunities for researchers to study a wide range of road safety issues with a high degree of realism – all free from the risk of a crash.

Research opportunities include:

  • Testing new road layouts
  • Assessing driver distraction from roadside advertising
  • Studying at risk groups such as young and older drivers
  • Testing the impact of the use of drugs, fatigue, and alcohol on driving skills

The simulator is expected to enable collaboration between researchers across multiple disciplines including road safety, engineering, ophthalmology, psychology, physiology and mathematics.

The simulator has the advantage of:

  • Adaptability – controlling and manipulating input variables such as behaviour of virtual traffic and pedestrians, weather conditions, and road design
  • Repeatability and standardisation – participants can drive under exactly the same conditions
  • Ease of data collection – accurate and efficient measuring of driving performance
  • Safety – safe environments free from crash risk and physical harm allowing drivers to be exposed to hazardous situations in a systematic way, which can be difficult to study in a natural driving environment

Western Australian Minister for Transport, Rita Saffioti, discussed the benefits of the investment from road safety partners.

“Funding new technology is another way we can help to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads.

“This technology will help us to better plan our road network by allowing us to test new designs in a simulated environment.

“Testing new road initiatives before they are implemented will save both time and money, enabling us to mitigate risks and cost effectively utilise our resources to make Western Australian roads safer and more efficient.”

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1 Comment
  1. Patricia Davila 4 months ago

    This is a very good training for the people are learning how to drive or in practice like me.

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