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Simulator sickness adaptation in a high-fidelity driving simulator as a function of scenario intensity and motion cueing

, The University of Iowa, United States

The University of Iowa . Awarded


This study utilized a 2 (between) x 2 (between) x 2 (between) x 6 (within) fixed effects design to explore the effects of scenario intensity, motion cueing, and gender on simulator sickness adaptation in a high-fidelity driving simulator. Independent variables were scenario intensity (graduated vs. constant), motion cueing (graduated vs. constant), gender, and simulator exposures (a baseline established during a five-minute simulator screening and five subsequent simulator trials of exactly 17 minutes in length, spaced approximately 48 hours apart). The dependent variables were immediate simulator sickness, prolonged simulator effects, and driving performance. Participants were 80 experienced drivers between the ages of 25 and 40 who have proven susceptible to simulator sickness. Participants were randomly assigned to treatments within gender.

The graduated scenario treatment consisted of a progression from straight driving at 40 miles-per-hour and one stop on the first day to eight 90-degree turns, nine stops, and speeds including 40, 50, 60, and 70 miles-per-hours on the final day. The constant scenario condition consisted of eight 90-degree turns, nine stops, and speeds from 40 to 70 miles-per-hour each day. The graduated motion condition progressed from no motion on the first day to incremental increases of 25, 50, 75, and 100% of the available motion over the four successive driving sessions. The constant motion treatment provided full motion cueing during all simulator exposures.

Results for main effects were that males experienced less prolonged sickness than females and that constant motion cueing resulted in lower prolonged scores than graduated motion cueing. Immediate and prolonged sickness decreased significantly over trials regardless of treatment condition. Constant scenario resulted in lower immediate sickness scores than graduated scenario, although graduated scenario evidenced lower immediate simulator sickness during initial simulator trials. Constant motion promoted the greatest reduction in both immediate and prolonged sickness across trials. Analysis of Covariance for driving performance and immediate simulator sickness failed to support the hypothesis that sickness would account for a significant amount of the variance in driving performance scores.


Watson, G.S. Simulator sickness adaptation in a high-fidelity driving simulator as a function of scenario intensity and motion cueing. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Iowa. Retrieved January 18, 2019 from .

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