New truck driving simulator arrives on campus

U OF T TRUCK DRIVING SIMULATOR — A photo of a truck driving simulator, installed by the Smart Freight Centre, in use by Alia Galal on Friday, December 8, 2023 . CivMin Professor Matthew Roorda (right) is the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Smart Freight Centre. Galal, is a CivE PhD candidate who is developing and testing driver training modules to reduce hazardous interactions between trucks, pedestrians and cyclists.(Photo by Phill Snel, CivMin)

The Smart Freight Centre has just received delivery, and freshly installed, of a quarter-cab truck driving simulator at the University of Toronto. The simulator will allow researchers to discover and analyze ways to improve truck and road safety through truck driver training, testing technological advancements and systems in the truck. The endeavour will prove useful in suggesting potential policy changes and much more.

The four video camera views of the simulator operator. (Photo by Phill Snel)

The simulator provides a wide field of view through three 50-inch high-definition monitors, has a real truck driver seat, steering wheel, gear shifter, driving pedals, and dashboard. Additionally, the apparatus includes a motion base that conveys the surface roughness and motion sensations of the vehicle to the driver for a highly realistic driving experience. Users can design and tailor their own driving scenarios using the simulator’s software.

The entire apparatus is mounted on a platform which is able to provide sensations felt while driving and experiencing a variety of road conditions.  The steering wheel has “true-to-life” high force feedback, offering the operator sensations and forces much as those experienced while driving a truck.

Four video cameras monitor the operator’s face, hands on the instruments, as well as feet on the brake, gas and clutch. The simulator has both automatic and manual gear-shifting options, with up to 16 gears.

Graduate students assist with the delivery of a truck driving simulator to U of T. The device will be used by the Smart Freight Centre, under the director of CivMin Professor Matthew Roorda. (Photo via Prof. Matthew Roorda)

This new installation within the Human Factors and Applied Statistics Laboratory (HFASt) is a collaborative effort involving Prof. Birsen Donmez (MIE) and Prof. Matthew Roorda (CivMin).

The first user is Alia Galal, a CivE PhD candidate, who is developing and testing driver training modules to reduce hazardous interactions between trucks, pedestrians and cyclists.

For more information about the truck simulator, contact CivMin Professor Matthew Roorda.