Driving Simulator, Quality of Service, Scenarios


The concept of using qualitative measures to describe the quality of service at signalized intersections provided by different designs and controls has been discussed in numerous conferences. Such measures may include driver's comfort, convenience, anxiety, and preferences. The primary objective of this study was to demonstrate the feasibility of using the University of Central Florida's interactive driving simulator to execute several scenarios involving different unusual design and operation practices to measure the quality of service at a signalized intersection. This thesis describes the scenarios, the experiments conducted, the data collected, and analysis of results. Signalized intersections with 3 types of characteristic features were identified for this study. They included 1. A lane dropping on the downstream side of the intersection 2. Misalignment of traffic lanes between the approach and downstream side 3. Shared left turn and through traffic lane or separate lanes for each approaching the intersection The experimental phase consisted of a brief orientation session to get acclimated to the driving simulator followed by two driving scenarios presented to all subjects. Each scenario consisted of a drive through an urban section of the simulator's visual data base where each subject encountered a Type 1, 2 and 3 intersections. A total of 40 subjects, 25 males and 15 females were recruited for the experiment. Data logging at 60 Hz for each scenario consisted of time-stamped values of x-position and y-position of the simulator vehicle, steering, accelerator and brake inputs by the driver, and vehicle speed. After the experiment a questionnaire soliciting opinions and reactions about each intersection was administered. Simulator experiment results showed that there was a significant difference between the merge lengths for the two cases of Type 1 intersection (lane drop on the downstream side of the intersection). For Type 2 intersection (misalignment of traffic lanes between the approach and downstream side) there was a considerable difference between the average paths followed by subjects for the two cases. For Type 3 intersection (shared left and through traffic lane approaching the intersection) the simulator experiment supported the fact that people get frustrated when trapped behind a left turning vehicle in a joint left and through lane intersection and take evasive actions to cross the intersection as soon as possible.


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Graduation Date





Radwan, Essam


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Degree Program

Civil Engineering








Release Date

January 2006

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)