Using Naturalistic Driving Data to Develop Simulator Scenarios

A variety of techniques have been utilized to understand driver behavior as a means toward identifying the factors that contribute to crashes and driver safety. Such approaches include driving simulation and large-scale observational studies of naturalistic driving behavior (e.g., SHRP-2). Driving simulators offer the benefit of experimental control and the ability to draw cause-effect conclusions. However, the extent to which simulator results translate to on-road performance remains a question. Observational studies of naturalistic driving behavior, on the other hand, benefit from studying behavior in the context of real driving, and allow for estimation of crash risk. However, naturalistic studies provide only a single "snapshot" of a given driving event (e.g., a crash), which hinders the ability to draw conclusions about causality or to determine the impact of certain factors on crash risk. Thus, an important question is how naturalistic data can be used to inform the design of simulator scenarios to be used to investigate the role of driver and roadway factors in crashes. The goal of the proposed study is to use the SHRP-2 naturalistic driving data set to develop simulator scenarios based on real-world roadways where real crashes occur. Then, using these simulator scenarios, the project will experimentally investigate the impact of several factors (i.e., distraction, drowsiness) and driver characteristics (e.g., age) on driver behavior in these roadway locations. Finally, the project will code videos of driver behavior during the simulation and compare this against previously completed SHRP-2 coding to establish the correspondence between naturalistic and simulator data.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Collaboration research project with University of Iowa and University of Wisconsin-Madison


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Kline, Robin

  • Performing Organizations:

    Safety Research Using Simulation University Transportation Center (SaferSim)

    University of Iowa
    Iowa City, IA  United States  52242
  • Principal Investigators:

    Noyce, David

    Gaspar, John

  • Start Date: 20150701
  • Expected Completion Date: 20170630
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 39196

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01556649
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Safety Research Using Simulation University Transportation Center (SaferSim)
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC53
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Mar 11 2015 1:01AM