Third Party Teter, Simulated Testing, Commercial Driver License, Computer Test, Virtual Test


The advance of technology is thought to help ease the myriad tasks that are usually involved in operating equipment. Training and testing in modern times have been replacing with simulation technologies that mimic the actual live operations and testing. Many successful stories of flight simulation come from military fighter aircraft and commercial pilot programs. The possibilities of safety in saving lives, economic incentive in reducing the operational cost and reducing the carbon footprint via simulation makes simulation worth looking into. These considerations quickly boosted the transfer from live training operations to virtual and simulation, as were easily adopted in the history of flight training and testing. Although, there has been a lack of application, the benefits of the computer based simulation as a modeling and simulation (M&S) tool can be applied to the commercial driver license (CDL) for the trucking industry. Nevertheless, this is an uphill battle to convince CDL administrators to integrate modern technology into the CDL program instead of using the traditional daily business of manual testing. This is because the cost of trucking industry live operations is still relatively affordable; individuals and companies are reluctant to adopt the use of the modeling and simulation driving or testing system. Fortunately, cost is not the only variable to consider for the training and testing administrators and their management. There is a need to expand the use of technology to support live operations. The safety of the student, trainer, and tester should be taken into account. The availability of training or testing scenarios is also an influencing factor. Ultimately, the most important factor is driving safety on the American road. The relationship of accidents with driver license fraud has led the Federal Department of Transportation to want to reduce fraud in third-party Commercial Driver License (CDL) administration. Although it is not a perfect solution that can fix all, the utilization of simulation technologies for driving assessment could be a solution to help reduce fraud if it is applied correctly. The Department of Transportation (DOT) authorized the states independent authority to administrate the local CDL including the use of the Third-Party Tester (TPT). As a result, some criminal activities prompted the Federal investigation to recommend changes and to fund the states to take action to stay in compliance with the Federal regulation. This is the opportunity for the state CDL administrator to explore the use of M&S to support its mission. Recall, those arguments for the use of the M&S is the thought of safety in saving lives, economic incentive in reducing the operational cost, and reducing the carbon footprint via using simulation. This makes simulation a viable resource. This paper will report the research study of using the computer based testing modeling and simulation tools to replace or augment the current state examiner as means of assessing the CDL TPT proficiency in basic backing skills. This pilot study of this system has several aspects to address. The scenarios must be relevant to test the knowledge of the TPT by using closely comparable scenarios to the current manual testing method. The scenario-based simulation should incorporate randomness to provide a greater sense of reality. In addition, the reconfigurable built-in random behavior scenarios provide the administrator greater control of behaviors and allow the administrator to be able to select among the random scenarios. Finally, the paper will present the data sampling from relevant participants of the CDL TPT and methodology applied. The analysis of data presents in this research study will be valuable for the State and Federal CDL administrator to consider the pros and cons of applying or adding a computer based simulation to their current testing methodology.


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Graduation Date



Lin, Kuo-Chi


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science

Degree Program

Modeling and Simulation








Release Date

August 2010

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

Included in

Engineering Commons