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MiniSim™ User’s Guide

National Advanced Driving Simulator

Document Version 17
National Advanced Driving Simulator
The University of Iowa
2401 Oakdale Blvd.
Iowa City, IA 52242-5003
contacts@nads-sc.uiowa.edu
Ph: 319-335-4673
Fax 319-335-4658
© Copyright 2011 by National Advanced Driving Simulator,
The University of Iowa. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Introduction ....................................................................................................................................................................4
Setup the MiniSim™ ......................................................................................................................................................5
Place the Steering Wheel and Pedals ........................................................................................................................5
Place the Instrument Panel Display ............................................................................................................................ 8
Place the Front-Channel Displays .............................................................................................................................. 9
Place the Audio System ........................................................................................................................................... 10
Place the Tactile Transducer .................................................................................................................................... 10
Place the Operator Display ....................................................................................................................................... 12
Place the PC............................................................................................................................................................. 13
Make the Connections .............................................................................................................................................. 13
Power-Up the PC...................................................................................................................................................... 17
Check the Desktop and Display Configuration ......................................................................................................... 17
Audio Configuration .................................................................................................................................................. 21
Using the MiniSim™..................................................................................................................................................... 22
Launching the MiniSim ............................................................................................................................................. 22
Running a Scenario .................................................................................................................................................. 23
Importing a Scenario ................................................................................................................................................ 23
Delete a Scenario ..................................................................................................................................................... 24
Settings Button ......................................................................................................................................................... 24
Screensaver .......................................................................................................................................................... 24
Data Collection Mode and the DAQ Button ........................................................................................................... 24
Show Report After Drive ....................................................................................................................................... 26
System ..................................................................................................................................................................... 27
Replay Button ........................................................................................................................................................... 28
Calibrating the Driver Inputs ......................................................................................................................................... 29
Verifying Driver Inputs .................................................................................................................................................. 31
NADS MiniSim Configuration Files............................................................................................................................... 32
Location .................................................................................................................................................................... 32
Syntax for the Configuration Files............................................................................................................................. 32
Advanced Topic 1 – Viewing the Driver Inputs ......................................................................................................... 46
Car MiniSim (Happ Interface Board) ..................................................................................................................... 46
Truck MiniSim – Logitech G27 Wheel ................................................................................................................... 47

Car MiniSim – Logitech G27 Wheel ...................................................................................................................... 48
For the ECCI Wheel: ............................................................................................................................................. 48
JoystickTest-daq.exe ............................................................................................................................................ 48
Advanced Topic 2 – Configure the MiniSim .............................................................................................................. 51
Advanced Topic 3 – Inset View Control .................................................................................................................... 52
Advanced Topic 4 – Installing a Database and Scenario ......................................................................................... 52
If you choose to do it manually, the steps involved include: .................................................................................. 52
Advanced Topic 5 – The Command line Interface .................................................................................................... 53
Advanced Topic 6 – Changing the DAQ file location ................................................................................................ 54
Advanced topic 7 – The Last Position File ................................................................................................................ 55
Advanced Topic 8 – The Route Table ...................................................................................................................... 57
Advanced Topic 10 – ACC Subsystem ..................................................................................................................... 59
Advanced Topic 11 – Scheduler Files ...................................................................................................................... 60
Advanced Topic 12 – MiniSim Local Network Setup ................................................................................................ 61
Advanced Topic 13 – Setup of the Video Capture and Eye Tracking Systems ........................................................ 68
Using NADS-VidCap ............................................................................................................................................. 68
Selecting channels ................................................................................................................................................ 68
Video Format Selector .......................................................................................................................................... 68
Camera Setup ....................................................................................................................................................... 69
Setting Up NADS-VidCap ..................................................................................................................................... 69
System Connections ............................................................................................................................................. 71
Eye Tracking ......................................................................................................................................................... 75
Eye Tracking Markers ........................................................................................................................................... 77
Eye Tracking Variables ......................................................................................................................................... 77
Serial Titler ............................................................................................................................................................ 78
Trouble Shooting ...................................................................................................................................................... 82
Updating the MiniSim ............................................................................................................................................... 82
Appendix A ............................................................................................................................................................... 83
Appendix B ............................................................................................................................................................... 84
MiniSim Data Acquisition Cell Definitions.............................................................................................................. 84

NADS MiniSim™ User’s Guide

Page 3

Introduction
Located on the University of Iowa’s Research Park, the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) is
committed to the goal of pursuing the state-of-the-art in driving simulation research and development.
The NADS facility is home to the world’s most advanced driving simulator, the NADS-1. The NADS
performs driving safety research for federal and state agencies and executes R&D contracts for private
industry partners.

Figure 1 - NADS-1, the world's most advanced driving simulator

NADS is also at the forefront of conducting vehicle and safety research for the U.S. Department of
Transportation and NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). Since 2004, NHTSA has
funded over $5 million dollars worth of research at NADS. With its partnerships with NHTSA and other
agencies, NADS has developed some of the most realistic vehicle driving simulations available anywhere
in the world.

Figure 2 - NADS current and past partnerships

NADS MiniSim™ User’s Guide

Page 4

Based on its industry leading driving simulation experience, NADS has recently announced the
completion of the MiniSim™ driving simulator. This is a PC-based driving simulator that harnesses the
technology used in the more advanced NADS-1 simulator.
The NADS MiniSim™ driving simulator is a highly flexible PC-based driving simulation system. It uses the
same advanced technologies built into the more sophisticated large NADS simulators, at a fraction of the
cost to build and operate, and is easy to customize for specific applications. The MiniSim can be
implemented in a range of simulators, ranging from a full-cab with projections screens to a desktop
system with simple USB-based pedals and controls.

Setup the MiniSim™
The MiniSim is a PC-based research driving simulator that provides a realistic automotive driving
environment. The system consists of a single PC for simplicity and reliability, three front channel
displays, an instrument panel display, USB steering wheel and pedals, 2.1 audio system, a tactile
transducer, and a display for the operator/instructor.

Place the Steering Wheel and Pedals
Unpack the steering wheel and pedals. Plug in the power supply, pedal, and shifter cables to the
underside of the ECCI or G27 wheel per the manufacturer’s instructions, Figure 3. Fasten the wheel and
shifter to the desktop following the manufacturer’s instructions, and place the pedals on the floor under
the table, Figure 4.

NADS MiniSim™ User’s Guide

Page 5

NADS MiniSim™ User’s Guide

Page 6

Figure 3: Connecting the power supply, shifter, and pedals to the Logitech G25 wheel (from Logitech manual)

Figure 4: Using the clamps to attach the shifter and wheel to the desktop (from Logitech manual)

NADS MiniSim™ User’s Guide

Page 7

Place the Instrument Panel Display
CAUTION! Please read the warnings and handling instructions for the LCD displays located in the
appendix.
The Instrument Panel LCD attaches to an aluminum bracket that holds the display at a 45 degree angle,
Figure 5. Mount the display to the bracket using the supplied thumb screws, being sure the display is
upside down, Figure 6. Connect the power and VGA/DVI cable to the display. Place the display on the
table directly behind the steering wheel, Figure 7.

Figure 5: Underside of Instrument Panel Display Stand

Figure 6: Power and VGA connections on Instrument Panel Display

NADS MiniSim™ User’s Guide

Page 8

Figure 7: Location of Instrument Panel Display

In the case of the 3-channel setup with 20” LCDs, attach the LCD to the instrument panel bracket using
the 4 thumbscrews. If these are lost, you may replace them with metric screws, 4mm thread and 16mm
long (M4x16).

Place the Front-Channel Displays
CAUTION! Please read the manufacturer’s manuals for the LCD displays located in the appendix.
Locate the three front channel displays on the tabletop behind the instrument panel as shown. Connect
the video (DVI) and power cables to each monitor. The center display should be centered directly
behind the instrument panel display, Figure 8.

Figure 8: Location of the Front Channel Displays

NADS MiniSim™ User’s Guide

Page 9


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