Paper published in Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour. 63, 83–92. Authored by Baumgartner, E., Ronellenfitsch, A., Reuss, H.C. & Schramm, D.
With an increasing number and diversification of powertrain setups, the evaluation of drivability is a major challenge in the vehicle development process. Since comprehensive tests with prototype cars are complex, time-consuming and expensive, using dynamic driving simulators for drivability evaluations is a promising alternative. Currently, driving simulators are not an established tool for drivability evaluations despite offering many advantages. They could enable concept evaluations in early development stages and offer a high degree of reproducibility and controllability regarding the test conditions. One reason for simulators not being utilised for this purpose is the circumstance that certain effects are experienced differently compared to real driving. Therefore, it is important to understand how accelerations are perceived in a simulator and to what extend motion scaling influences the perception. The ability to distinguish between several acceleration profiles resulting from different powertrain setups can be expressed with the just noticeable difference (JND). The JND corresponds to the differential perception threshold and is a suitable measure to classify and assess powertrain modifications. In this paper, the effect of motion scaling on the JND is analysed with a driving simulator study. The aim is to explain the differences in perception between driving simulator studies and real road tests in the context of drivability and to provide guidance for transferring results to real world conditions.