Subjective evaluation of high-fidelity virtual environments for driving simulations

Debattista, Kurt and Bashford-Rogers, Thomas and Harvey, Carlo and Waterfield, Brian and Chalmers, Alan (2017) Subjective evaluation of high-fidelity virtual environments for driving simulations. IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems (99). pp. 1-11. ISSN 2168-2291

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Virtual environments grant the ability to experience real-world scenarios, such as driving, in a virtual, safe and reproducible context. However, in order to achieve their full potential the fidelity of the virtual environment must provide confidence that it replicates the perception of the real-world experience. The computational cost of simulating real world visuals accurately means that compromises to the fidelity of the visuals must be made. In this work a subjective evaluation of driving in a virtual environment at different quality settings is presented. Participants (n = 44) were driven around in the real world and in a purposely built representative virtual environment and the fidelity of the graphics and overall experience at low, medium and high visual settings were analysed. Low quality corresponds to the illumination in many current traditional simulators, medium to a higher quality using accurate shadows and reflections and high to the quality experienced in modern movies and simulations that require hours of computation. Results demonstrate that graphics quality affects the perceived fidelity of the visuals and the overall experience. When judging the overall experience, participants could tell the difference between the lower quality graphics and the rest but did not significantly discriminate between the
medium and higher graphical settings. This indicates that future
driving simulators should improve the quality, but once the equivalent of the presented medium quality is reached, they may not need to do so significantly.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
15 November 2017Published
Uncontrolled Keywords: virtual environments, virtual reality, driving simulators, subjective evaluation, physically-based rendering
Subjects: CAH11 - computing > CAH11-01 - computing > CAH11-01-01 - computer science
Divisions: Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment > School of Computing and Digital Technology
Depositing User: Ian Mcdonald
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2017 12:45
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2023 12:01

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