It is always a nerve wracking moment for any parent when their child receives a driver’s license and begins operating a motor vehicle. A new technology that makes use of a video game to identify teen responses to car accident risks may help parents understand better what kind of driver their child is likely to become.
Research scientists at the Neuroscience of Driving program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Centre for Injury Research and Prevention recently designed a virtual driving assessment test that is aimed at understanding teenage behaviors and responses to common auto accident risks and evaluating future driving behaviors based on these.
The new technology is called Already Assess by Diagnostic Driving. It consists of a 15 – minute simulator drive that is designed like a video game. Teenagers are required to follow the simulated course on a large computer screen using headphones, foot pedals and a steering wheel. As the teenager moves through the simulated course, the technology monitors around 100 driving skills that can predict the teen’s risk of a car accident. These skills include the crucial ability to navigate difficult curves and intersections, lane position, control of the vehicle, the proximity of his vehicle to other vehicles, and his or her ability to respond to sudden and emergency hazards. When the teenager completes the course, he is given a personalized report card that clearly outlines his or her responses to various stimuli and the areas of deficiency as well as the areas that she or he can improve on.