A new Heavy Vehicle Simulator (HVS) in CAES is helping increase safety and fuel efficiency. The HVS is a full-scale simulator that builds on the first-generation virtual bus simulator (Vbus) research and simulation developed by CAES researchers.
The new simulator is built inside a 6,000-pound front-end cab of a real bus donated by Motor Coach Industries. It is akin to a flight simulator, which recreates a flight environment for pilot training. Drivers can turn the steering wheel, adjust the dashboard and press on the brakes and gas pedal as though it were a real bus. Views of streets and highways are projected onto the bus windshield for drivers to operate under realistic conditions. The video display simulates actual driving conditions, using accurate latitude and longitude, and a GPS locator. The simulator helps develop models of the most efficient driving behaviors for safety and fuel usage in various road and weather conditions.
Along with industry, two academic partners – the University of Idaho and Virginia Commonwealth University – are involved with the HVS project and advancements will continue to be made toward the improvement of predictive driving tools for safety and efficiency.