University of Leeds Driving Simulator (UoLDS)

The University of Leeds Driving Simulator (UoLDS) is one of the most advanced worldwide in a research environment and allows research into driver behaviour to be performed in accurately controlled and repeatable laboratory conditions.

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UOLDS Jaguar S-type vehicle cab
UOLDS Jaguar S-type vehicle cab

Jaguar S-type vehicle cab

  • The simulator's vehicle cab is a 2005 Jaguar S-type, with all driver controls fully operational.
  • The driver can feel accurate loading at all the normal controls, including the steering wheel and brake pedal. Inside the cab, all of the inherent dashboard instrumentation functions normally.
  • An 80W 4.1 sound system provides audio cues of engine, transmission and environmental noise.
  • The vehicle's internal Control Area Network (CAN) is used to transmit driver control information between the cab and the network of PCs that manage the overall simulation.
  • A Seeing Machines faceLAB v5 eye-tracker is housed within the vehicle cab, allowing the driver’s gaze angle to be recorded in real-time to an accuracy of within ±1°.
  • A Liliput 7” TFT touch-screen display is mounted on the dashboard. The screen allows the simulation of in-vehicle task and systems, such as a navigation device.
UOLDS image generation
UOLDS image generation

Image generation

  • The Jaguar is housed within a 4m diameter, composite, spherical projection dome.
  • A real-time, fully textured 3-D graphical scene of the virtual world is projected on the inner surface of the dome.
  • The projection system consists of five forward and three rear channels. The forward channels are edge-blended to provide a near seamless total horizontal field of view of 250°. The vertical field of view is 45°. The central rear channel (60°) is viewed through the vehicle's rear view mirror, whilst LCD panels are built into the Jaguar's wing mirrors to provide the two additional rear views. The display resolution of all channels is 4.1 arcmin per pixel.
  • This imagery is generated by five dedicated PCs, housing nVidia FX3000G and nVidia FX4500G graphics cards. The eight visual channels are presented at 60 frames per second and at a resolution of 1024x768 (800x450 for the two wing mirror displays). The PCs are frame-locked to avoid any “tearing” of the visual image.
UOLDS motion system
UOLDS motion system

Motion system

  • The Simulator incorporates a 2.5t payload, eight degree of freedom (DoF) motion system. The electrically driven motion system consists of a six DoF hexapod built up upon a two DoF xy-table. The system was manufactured by Bosch Rexroth.
  • High and medium frequency lateral accelerations (e.g. a lane change) are simulated by sliding the whole vehicle cab and dome configuration along the railed x-y table. Low frequency, sustained cues (e.g. a long, sweeping curve) are simulated using the tilt co-ordination of the hexapod.
  • The whole xy-table can also slide longitudinally along tracks to mimic the vehicle’s acceleration and braking. The 10m long rails and tracks allow 5m of effective travel in each direction. The motion-base enhances the fidelity of the simulator by proving realistic inertial forces to the driver during braking and cornering. It also provides lifelike high frequency heave, allowing the simulation of road roughness and bumps.


In use (video)

  • Click here to see a video showing the simulator in action.

Screen captures

  • Click here to see screen captures of the simulator's graphics.

Facility images

  • Click here to see a gallery of the simulator facility.

Launch event with Nick Ross

  • Click here to see a gallery of the simulator's launch.

Simulator construction

  • Click here to see a gallery of the simulator's construction.

The Original LADS