During braking-to-stop manoeuvres in a fixed-base driving simulator, the paucity of visual and vestibular cues can lead to driver misperception and produce different patterns of braking response between real and simulated driving. For these reasons, drivers must adapt their behaviour in a simulator to affect a comfortable and efficient braking manoeuvre. Such behavioural adaptation is likely to have negative consequences by increasing a driver’s attentional demand. In this study, 48 participants underwent a series of braking-to-stop manoeuvres in an instrumented vehicle on a test-track. Each participant was instructed to drive at 40mph. A set of traffic lights, on occasions, changed to red as the vehicle was 58m from the lights. Deceleration profiles provided the baseline data. The same scenario was modelled in a fixed-base driving simulator. Two groups, each of 24 participants, one familiar with the simulator from previous investigations and one with no prior simulator experience, underwent the simulated traffic light scenario ten times. This paper suggests a method of objectively assessing driver braking performance between the real and simulated environments. Results appear to suggest that in as little as five or six practice stops drivers can adapt their simulator driving style to closely match that observed in a real vehicle on a test track. However, any process of adaptation from prior exposure to the simulator is short-lived
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