Virtual Driving Simulator with Wilbur Smith Associates & the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority


Developers: Jason Leigh, Kapil Arora, Robert Kooima

The virtual driving simulator co-developed by computer science Ph.D. student Robert Kooima and Master of Fine Art student Kapil Arora was developed to evaluate alternative tollway signage designs as part of a user study conducted by the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority (ISTHA) and consulting firm Wilbur Smith Associates (WSA).

Using commodity gaming technology and high-resolution displays, EVL’s tollway simulator modeled a high-resolution driving environment similar to an actual Open Road Tolling (ORT) plaza, where drivers navigate a virtual course displayed on a wide-angle display screen constructed of side-by-side LCD displays using a steering wheel designed for gaming environments. The application features the capability to toggle between sign designs - some incorporating diagrams, text or a combination thereof, as well as varying lighting conditions such as bright sunlight, dawn, overcast and night. The simulator was developed to mirror realistic driving conditions to enable ISTHA and WSA to elicit useful feedback from a focus group of “virtual” drivers on proposed ORT signage.

This technology can be applied to a wide range of other application areas, including driving simulators to train emergency responders in fire and police departments.

Email: spiff@uic.edu

Date: June 14, 2006 - August 31, 2006
Developer Robert Kooima Using Tollway Simulator

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