The “Virage VS500M” driving simulator of the Laboratory of Health and Road Safety is built with the most advanced simulation software available in the industry, using a sophisticated driver environment built with actual car components providing a realistic feel of all controls. The simulator is a useful tool used in information, education and scientific research on driving behaviour and road safety.
The car driving simulator system provides the best blend of quality and functionality. The high quality 3D graphics and the realistic sound cues provide the driver with an ideal simulated driving experience in a real car cockpit environment, without the real-world consequences should the student driver make a mistake, while the available routes allow progressive driver training from beginners to experts. The user can drive in a full set of visual scenes reproducing city, highway, industrial, farmland and mountainous environments, under various weather conditions or even under the influence of alcohol. All the scenario design is based on proven pedagogical principles.
The simulator consists of an open cabin with the driver seat, the center console, a fully functional instrument and warning light cluster, a wide visual display, as well as motion and vibration systems. The user can feel the holes on the road surface, the contact with the safe barriers or the rolling over a sidewalk or a dirt road through the steering wheel and seat. Automatic and manual transmissions are available, allowing the user to select the preferred way of steering at the touch of a button. The three-dimensional graphics are displayed on three wide screens located in the front of the cabin providing 180 degrees front view. Rear-view and side-view mirrors are simulated through a window inset within the main screen.
Every year the Laboratory is visited by lots of students from Crete for educational purposes. The visit programme includes hands-on training on the driving simulator, experiential activities, information on the safe use of the road, games on the subject of road safety and audiovisual presentations on traffic education. Moreover, the Laboratory pursues collaboration with driving schools and professional drivers.