Advanced Driving Simulator

About the CARRS-Q Advanced Driving Simulator

Queensland’s first state-of-the-art advanced driving simulator is operational at the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q).  Based at the Queensland University of Technology, the simulator advances Australian road safety research and provides new insight to reduce the high death toll on national roads.

This million dollar project incorporates a complete Holden Commodore vehicle with working controls and instruments. The advanced driving simulator uses SCANeR™studio Linked to another web site software with eight computers, projectors and a six degree of freedom (6DOF) motion platform that can move and twist in three dimensions.  When seated in the simulator vehicle, the driver and passengers are immersed in a virtual environment that includes a 180 degree front field of view, simulated rear view mirror images, surround sound for engine and environment noise, real car cabin and simulated vehicle motion.

CARRS-Q’s driving simulator has been in part funded by the Australian Research Council, QUT, University of Queensland, Department of Transport and Main Roads, RACQ, Motor Accident Insurance Commission, and General Motors Holden.

CARRS-Q Advanced Driving Simulator.  Photo by Sonja de Sterke.

How is it being used?

The simulator brings together researchers from several disciplines including optometry, psychology, mathematics, physiology and road safety.  It provides researchers with new opportunities to study driver behaviour in different driving conditions, with a high degree of realism, but free of crash risk.

CARRS-Q research publications utilising the Advanced Driving Simulator Linked to another web site

A driving scenario can be created to select specifications - for example, including impaired driver condition (e.g. fatigue, alcohol or other drug-impairment), specific environmental conditions (e.g. inclusion of pedestrians, traffic, weather and road conditions) and situational changes (e.g. the sudden appearance of obstacles).  The innovative technology allows researchers to observe, challenge and record the driver’s reactions and skills in a controlled, safe environment with precision accuracy.

For many safety-critical situations, the simulator facilitates research answers that would be difficult, costly and often unsafe to obtain in a real on-road setting.

The CARRS-Q Advanced Driving Simulator features a six degree of freedom motion platform

What types of research does it benefit?

The simulator can be used for any form of road safety research which requires an understanding of driver behaviour. Given that most crashes can be attributed to driver error, understanding driver behaviour is essential.

CARRS-Q’s simulator will be critical for future research into:

  • impaired driving (e.g. fatigue, whiplash, vigilance decline, distraction, alcohol and drug-impaired driving);
  • road conditions (e.g. visibility of line markings in poor weather);
  • road environment (e.g. behaviour on road curves, in tunnels and on railway crossings);
  • in-car technology (e.g. fatigue sensors, audible warnings, vehicle-to-vehicle communications, Internet-enabled devices, future driving assistance devices);
  • at-risk road users (e.g. older drivers, young novice drivers); and
  • human behaviour (e.g. emergency reactions, interactions with vulnerable road users such as cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists).
The CARRS-Q Advanced Driving Simulator environment includes a 180 degree front field of view.  Photo by Sonja de Sterke.
Using the Advanced Driving Simulator for your research

CARRS-Q’s simulator is available for use by researchers and industry through contract or collaborative arrangements.

The Centre provides a venue for researchers to execute their scenario on a driving simulator at several levels of fidelity, ranging from very high (6DOF motion, 180° visual, real car cabin) to medium or low fidelity (desktop).


Further information

For more information, download the fact sheet [PDF, 215KB], read the press release Linked to another web site or watch the launch video on YouTube Linked to another web site. You can also watch the 7NEWS report about the simulator on YouTube Linked to another web site and read the article prepared for Simulation Week 2014.

Simulator project enquiries can be addressed to Andry Rakotonirainy,

Media enquiries should be directed to Kim Smith, Marketing and Events Officer on 07 3138 4568 or email  High-resolution images are available.

View from the control room of the Advanced Driving Simulator.  Photo by Sonja de Sterke.