A Framework for Simulation of Surrounding Vehicles in Driving Simulators

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Jan Lundgren
Mikael Adlers
Pontus Matstoms

This article describes a framework for generation and simulation of surrounding vehicles in a driving simulator. The proposed framework generates a traffic stream, corresponding to a given target flow and simulates realistic interactions between vehicles. The framework is based on an approach in which only a limited area around the driving simulator vehicle is simulated. This closest neighborhood is divided into one inner area and two outer areas. Vehicles in the inner area are simulated according to a microscopic simulation model including advanced submodels for driving behavior while vehicles in the outer areas are updated according to a less time-consuming mesoscopic simulation model. The presented work includes a new framework for generating and simulating vehicles within a moving area. It also includes the development of an enhanced model for overtakings and a simple mesoscopic traffic model. The framework has been validated on the number of vehicles that catch up with the driving simulator vehicle and vice versa. The agreement is good for active and passive catch-ups on rural roads and for passive catch-ups on freeways, but less good for active catch-ups on freeways. The reason for this seems to be deficiencies in the utilized lane-changing model. It has been verified that the framework is able to achieve the target flow and that there is a gain in computational time of using the outer areas. The framework has also been tested within the VTI Driving simulator III.

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