Motor vehicles must be safe and easy to use. Assessments are performed both in real vehicles and in driving simulators. However, many driving simulators are too expensive to purchase, too complex to use, take too long to program, and sometimes lack the desired functional characteristics. The goal of this project is to build an easy–to–use driving simulator platform through the creative use of free software (e.g., OpenDS, Roadrunner), simple hardware, and student creativity to develop a driving simulator suitable to support research on driver distraction, driver workload, and driver interfaces for partially–automated vehicles.
Our team will build virtual roadways and scenarios suitable for simple experiments; we will create virtual worlds that can be explored in the simulator, starting locally. In addition, by improving an integrated hardware–software system, students will learn software to support virtual reality, build prototypes, and conduct experiments with users of software/hardware to validate ease of use and functional requirements. The team will communicate how the simulator works via technical documentation as well as innovative video and audio summaries.
Meeting time and location:
To accommodate team members in other time zones who can only participate virtually, our MDP team meets Mondays at 9:00 pm – 10:00 pm ET using Zoom as well as in-person. In addition, subteams meet by themselves about once per week at a time of their choosing, with each subteam deciding if they want to meet in person, virtually, or some combination, which we have done since March 2020. For those working on the motion base, the lab is located at the UMTRI Building on North Campus, 2901 Baxter Road.
This team has flexible sub–teams that allow students to deepen their learning. The teams are flexibly structured to enhance creativity and opportunity for student growth. Each of the subteams has a student team leader that reports to the faculty PIs.
First–year undergraduates through masters graduate students are welcome to apply, and all will be encouraged to stay on the team for more than the two–semester minimum. Leadership roles are available in the lab, and experienced students will be a natural fit for these positions as their knowledge grows over time.
Software Engineer (7 Students)
Specific Skills: Virtual world creation, programming, coding, data management
Preferred Skills: Coding and data management skills, experience with creating gaming platforms, Blender, OpenDS, Roadrunner, and ArcGIS–CityEngine skills
Likely Majors: SE/CS–LSA, Information, Data Science
Motion Platform Algorithm Engineer (3 Students)
Specific Skills: : Develop motion platform algorithms and interface with software
Preferred Skills: Experience with simulation in OpenDS, Roadrunner, Unreal Engine
Likely Majors: Mechanical Engineering, Robotics
Human Factors, Virtual Road Systems, and Interface Subteam (2 Students)
Specific Skills: Develop scenarios and interface between driver/occupants, simulator and road systems, development with open source such as OpenStreetMap
Likely Majors: Civil Engineering, Urban Planning/Transportation Planning, Systems Engineering, IOE
Apprentice Researchers (3 Students)
Requirements: Interest in project material, willingness to develop skills. Open to first-year and second-year undergraduate students ONLY.
Likely Majors: Any
Dr. Green is a research professor in UMTRI’s Driver Interface Group and an adjunct research professor in the University of Michigan Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering (IOE). He teaches automotive human factors and human-computer interaction classes. He is the leader of U-M’s Human Factors Engineering Short Course, the flagship continuing-education course in the profession, now approaching its 60th year. Dr. Green also leads a research team that focuses on driver distraction, driver workload, workload managers, navigation-system design, and motor-vehicle controls and displays. More recently, the team has expanded their focus to include partially automated vehicles. That research makes extensive use of instrumented cars and driving simulators.
Likely Majors: Civil Eng, CSE/CS–LSA, CE, EE, Information Science, IOE, ME, Robotics, Systems Engineering, Urban Planning/Transportation Planning, Any
Summer Opportunity: Summer research fellowships may be available for qualifying students
Citizenship Requirements: This project is open to all students on campus.
IP: Students who successfully match to this project team will be required to sign an Intellectual Property (IP) Agreement prior to participation in January 2021.
Course Substitutions: Honors
Location: Remote positions available: All roles are available for remote participation.