Your browser is unsupported

We recommend using the latest version of IE11, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

MIE.17 – Driving Simulator Cockpit

Team Members Heading link

  • Uzair Ahmed
  • Umair Chowdhury
  • Mohammad Hussain
  • Jacob Sullivan
  • Martin Yousif

Project Description Heading link

Driving Simulator Cockpits are growing in popularity, and they have a wide variety of applications depending on the user experience desired. The two main user experiences desired from a driving simulator cockpit could be to conduct realistic research or to simply provide great entertainment when playing video games that simulate driving. The exciting thing about this specific driving simulator design is that it will satisfy both of these applications, as the cockpit will be used in a lab setting at UIC to conduct research on the response times correlated to undistracted driving vs. distracted driving, as well as in an entertainment setting where the sponsors desire to display the cockpit in the college of engineering’s open house and other events to promote engagement with current and future students. The current ‘cockpit’ that they use consists of a cheap wheel, pedals and a desk chair. Our design will make it possible to feel as if you are actually racing in an F1 race, not just sitting on the floor in a classroom. Engagement, immersion, and retention are the three keywords behind much of the research for this simulator. The sponsors desire a very immersive experience when using the sim, as improving the immersion factor will lead to better student engagement and retention of the activities they performed in the simulator. For example, a student who is using a Playstation controller to drive a car is going to simply go through the motions in the lab to get it done, whereas a student who gets to sit in a driving simulator that feels like real life will be in awe over the experience and retain much more of what they did in that lab. Our research aims to find solutions for the design that allow for the highest levels of immersion, build quality, and engagement with the budget afforded ($3,850). The chassis and peripherals of the simulator are the pieces that make or break the immersion and engagement levels of the product. The steering wheel and pedals need to feel like they would on a legit car, not just pieces of plastic with no feedback. The field of vision needs to be at least 180 degrees, as peripheral vision is key in immersion with humans. The seat and cockpit need to feel stable and rigid. With all of these factors and more in mind, we began to research any cockpit, from a Youtuber’s $500 setup, to University of Iowa’s $50,000 sim device. Then, reputable brands for racing sim peripherals and monitors were sourced, scouring the catalogs and creating a list of any and every peripheral that may work with our design. Metrics were thought up in order to rank each particular piece of the design, and then we sought out to create different design alternatives that each have their own pros and cons. The final design chosen is the one that creates the most engagement, immersion, and retention with its users according to our research and the sponsor’s desires.