USDOT Region V Regional University Transportation Center

Driving Simulator Experiment

You have been invited to participate in a research study quantifying the benefits of providing real-time information to travelers. By conducting this study, we hope to better understand the response behavior of travelers towards real-time traveler information. Your participation would be greatly appreciated as it can contribute to the development of better methods to provide effective information to travelers.

Should you decide to participate, you will follow these steps: 

Step 1: You are required to complete a one-time survey, which asks for your socio-economic characteristics, daily travel behavior, preferences and attitude towards information. You are advised not to participate in this study if you have a medical history of severe motion sickness and/or consequences thereof.

Click here to access the survey  

Step 2: After you finish the survey, please click the link below to schedule a time with us to come to our lab at Purdue Research Park and complete experiments in a driving simulator. We highly suggest you read through the instructions of how to operate the simulator (available below) before coming to the lab.

Click here to schedule an appointment

Step 3: After you come to the lab, you will be provided complete details of the assigned experiment scenarios. The first experiment session is a practice session. You will take multiple short runs in the driving simulator to become familiar with the simulator, the map, and routes on the experimental network. If you feel simulator sickness (such as dizziness and nausea) during the practice session, you can withdraw from participation.

Step 4: Once you are familiar with the driving simulator and comfortable with driving from an origin to a destination, you will be required to complete multiple experimental driving runs. The number of experimental driving runs will depend on the experiment scenarios assigned to you. In each run, you will be provided varying levels of real-time traffic information. Excessive speeding or traffic violations are penalized by a reduction in total compensation.  You are expected to drive and make decisions on routes realistically, i.e., do not treat the simulator like a video game.

Step 5: During and after each driving run, you will fill out a short survey, which asks your perception of familiarity with the network, designated route, and trust in information provided to you while driving. You will take a five-minute break between two consecutive experimental driving runs.

Step 6: After you complete all experiments in the simulator, we recommend you stay at the lab for 30 minutes to 1 hour before you drive; or you can ask someone to pick you up. The purpose is to avoid the possibility that you may not be adequately recalibrated to real-world driving.

The total time required including filling the online survey, practice session, experimental driving runs, and breaks, will not exceed four hours.


After you complete the driving simulator experiments, you will be compensated with a gift card, ranging from $10 to $60. In the event that the study must be terminated due to simulator sickness, you will receive a compensation of $10. Total compensation will be reduced at the end of the experiment for not driving and making decisions on routes realistically or treating the simulator as a game, as determined by excessive speeding, traffic violations, and/or unrealistic driving maneuver on an automated scale. In addition, you are eligible to enter a random lottery drawing for one of two iPad Minis if your driving and route choice are consistent with real world norms. The odds of winning are dependent on the number of participants, but are expected to be 1 in 250 or better. You can stop the driving simulator experiment at any time; however, no compensation will be provided in this instance.