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Completed project


ESC - Methods for design and evaluation of heavy vehicle stability systems


Reference: Dela, N., Laine, L., Bruzelius, F., Sehammar, H., Renner, L., Markkula, G., & Karlsson, A-S. (2009). A pilot evaluation of using large movement driving simulator experiments to study driver behaviour influence on active safety systems for commercial heavy vehicles. Proceedings of the 21st International Symposium on Dynamics of Vehicles on Roads and Tracks (IAVSD'09), Stockholm, Sweden, August 17-21, 2009.

Markkula, G. Karlsson, A-S., Laine, L., Dela, N. (2011) Pilot evaluation of using large movement driving simulator experiments to study driver behaviour influence on active safety systems for commercial heavy vehicles. ViP publication 2011-1, Linköping: VTI, Sweden (internal report for the ViP consortium).



The overall purpose of the ESP project is to investigate if simulator experiments, which include variations in driver behaviour and typically also in the traffic environment, can be used to evaluate active safety systems. Examples of such systems are roll over prevention and yaw control, which are found in commercial Electronic Stability Programs (ESP). So, the main project aim is to explore and preliminarily assess the usefulness of the driving simulator as a tool for active safety system evaluation, rather than to provide definite answers to specific research questions.

The adopted approach to solve this challenge completely in the long run is to show if the following questions can be given positive answers:


  1. Can we create simulated driving situations that, at least in a majority of cases, provoke driver behaviour in a way that causes situations to develop into the types of safety critical situations that ESP is designed to assist in?
  2. Can we create driving situations that "force" drivers into critical situations also if those situations are repeated more than once per driver? (Important in order to keep the size of simulator experiments, number of participants, within reasonable limits.)
  3. Can we implement simulated vehicle dynamics, and a coupling of an ESP to these dynamics, in such a way that it enables the ESP to produce the same type of control improvements in the simulated critical situations as it does in driving a real vehicle?
  4. Can we devise a method for obtaining subjective feedback from simulator test drivers on how they perceive ESP interventions in situations of varying criticality, in terms of usefulness, acceptance, etc? An area of specific interest is the perceived locus of control, i.e. whether the driver experiences that the ESP system takes over the control of the vehicle, and whether this is accepted or not by the driver.

An experiment will be carried out in the VTI driving simulator during January 2009, after the now on-going pre-study.

Project manager: Nicolas Dela, Volvo 3P, +46 (0)31 322 86 42
Project partners: AB Volvo (3P and Volvo Technology) and VTI





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