DS-230 Virtual Reality Driving Simulator

Figure 1. DS-230 System

Key Features



The DS-230 driving simulator utilizes a unique combination of state-of-the-art hardware and software to provide realistic training at an affordable price. The DS-230 with typical computer-generated imagery is shown on the front cover. Portions of the vehicle interior, including the instrument panel gauges and indicators all appear on the monitors along with simulation database imagery. The physics-based suspension and motion model provide realistic responses to the modeled environment and to driver actions. Should the driver "crash" into something during the simulation, the car will stop; it will not run through the object as in some simulations.

Before the simulation exercise begins, the instructor selects the database to be used, the weather effects, the driving conditions, visibility range, other traffic, and distractions.

During simulated driving, the computer system monitors the position of all driver controls to control progress through the simulation database. Using vehicle position and attitude data, the computer system generates 3-D images corresponding to the current vehicle position.


Driver Controls

The DS-230 utilizes a force feedback steering wheel to provide the dynamics of the road to the driver. Effects, such as running into a curb, are simulated, as is the force needed to make a turn. A column-mounted switch cluster controls turn signals, hazard lights, head lights, wipers, and windshield washers. The console to the right of the driver houses the automatic transmission shift lever (Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive, 2nd gear, and 1st gear) and the parking brake lever. Accelerator and brake pedals are provided below the dashboard.


Sound Simulation

A four-channel sound card provides audio cues to the driver via speakers in the monitors. The sound system is used to create a variety of sounds including the driver's car horn, engine, wind, wipers, and turn signals.


Suspension and Motion Model

The DS-230 uses a high-fidelity real time vehicle dynamics model that is capable of representing a variety of four-wheel vehicles. The physics-based motion model comprises four wheel and suspension models that are coupled to the 6 degree-of-freedom vehicle equations of motion. Each wheel/suspension model encompasses spring and damping rates, bump stops, anti-sway bars, anti-squat anti-dive geometry, and the roll axis height. The unsprung mass is modeled as a separate body connected by a translational joint to the base body. A tire model is used to predict the tire forces at each wheel.

A power train model calculates the torque at each wheel based on brake pedal, gear, and accelerator pedal inputs. The power train contains complete engine, transfer case, differential, and torque converter models. The engine model is based on a torque lookup map. Parameters such as torque converter efficiency, shift maps, and gear ratios can be specified in the data file. The brake model includes models of the master cylinder, prop valves, wheel cylinders, pad friction, and rotor and wheel diameters. User selection of input data files allows easy switching between multiple vehicle models. New vehicle models can be developed simply by editing the data file. Expert help will usually be required to closely model a specific new vehicle.


Weather Effects

Weather effects are selected at the Instructor's Station. The choices for weather conditions are Clear, Fog, Rain, and Snow. The color of the sky, haze color, visibility range, and percent of direct versus ambient illumination change depending on the selected weather condition. This provides realistic weather simulation for most weather conditions. In rainy conditions, a droplet pattern appears on the windshield and the side windows, and the area under the windshield wipers is swiped clean when the wipers are turned on. The visual database is modified to include reflective puddles in the roadway. If the weather is chosen to simulate snow, the visual database is modified to show snow on roofs, trees, fences and roadways. Visibility is reduced if it is raining or snowing.


Windshield Wiper Simulation

The windshield wiper is modeled with a blade and arm, and moves realistically. The wipers settle to the bottom of the windshield when the wipers are OFF. The rate at which the wiper moves depends on the position of the wiper control; LO or HI. When the wipers are activated, a clear wiped area appears on the windshield.



The DS-230 database is rich in detail and variety. This vivid database is made possible through CGSD's own Parametric Planets software, and our RealTexture Tools, and RealTexture Library patterns. The database offers a variety of driving environments: city, highway, and country. Collectively, these environments should meet the needs of most users. Four versions of the database are provided; summer right-hand drive, winter right-hand drive, summer left-hand drive, and winter left-hand drive. Each version provides highly detailed imagery suitable for a variety of simulation tasks. Note the detail and variety of building types shown in the figures.


Maintenance Station

A keyboard/trackball, connected to the DS-230 computers via a keyboard/video/mouse switch, is used for system startup, shutdown, and maintenance.


Instructor's Station

The Instructor's Station is implemented on a laptop computer. It allows the instructor to make selections for database version, driver vehicle type, visibility range, environmental conditions, and to control pre-programmed distractions.


Different databases are used for summer and winter


For further information please see our Product Specification.

Also available is our DS-100 Driving simulator


Click on the image at the left to view a demo of our DS 230 Driving Simulator. The demo includes a drive-through of several blocks of a virtual Berkeley CA. Download times vary depending on the speed of your connection.

For PC users, the RealOne Player is recommended to view the 8MB MPEG-4 video.

Mac users can get DivX for MAC OS, available for 8.6 or higher.


Please inquire via e-mail to Roy Latham at rlatham@cgsd.com   1999-2001 CGSD Corporation. All rights reserved.