The goal of driver education is to provide new drivers with the skills necessary to safely and effectively operate a motor vehicle. While much effective training has been implemented since the 1930s, recent research suggests there are opportunities to enhance driver hazard anticipation and avoidance, which could in turn dramatically impact public safety. Hazard-related training has traditionally been difficult to accomplish, with classroom exercises lacking impact and experiential components, and real-world driving experiences hard to constrain and keep safe. Indeed, the lack of experiential driver training components is reflected in such data as:
- The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles among 16 year old drivers is some ten times higher than it is among those between the ages of 45 and 55
- The crash rate for 16-year-olds is 3.7 times higher than drivers of all ages
- The crash rate for 16-19-year-olds is 2.7 times higher than drivers of all ages
LookOut: Virtual Driver’s Training with a New Focus
The purpose of the LookOut project, sponsored by the Volpe Center at the United States Department of Transportation, is to create a scenario-based desktop driving simulator that helps drivers gain greater awareness of hazards and safely avoid them. Using a newly designed training paradigm for hazard anticipation, detection, and avoidance, the LookOut simulator will provide a rich, game-like training environment that sensitizes drivers to dangers on the roadway. This includes having the user identify and avoid potential hazards that appear while driving, as well as identify latent hazards where the hazards are not explicitly called out.
Prototypes of LookOut have shown substantial potential, and are being developed and matured under DoT funding.
How can I get LookOut?
LookOut is still in the prototype and testing stage. Once complete, it will be used in conjunction with existing driver’s training curricula at driving schools throughout the United States. If you’re interested in LookOut, or in creating similar cutting-edge driving simulators for your application, email us today.