Driver and Operator Modeling

The influence of the driver and/or operator of vehicle or equipment is significant with respect to operational durability, energy, resource efficiency and safety. This applies especially to the commercial vehicle segment: The skills and experience of the operator and the associated work steps and strategies significantly influence the equipment behavior.

It is imperative in a simulation based analysis and optimization of an integrated system to map these influences with the appropriate precision and quality.

Such driver and operator models are being developed and implemented at ITWM. The fundamental objective of driver modeling is to use the representation (mathematical description) of vehicle control by a human in an integrated vehicle simulation. Classic concepts (e.g., two-level model) are used and applied as well as the new methods and approaches now being developed and implemented. Methodically, classic control systems are used, but so are modern methods from the area of optimal control and predictive model control: this is precisely the focus of our research and scientific activities.

The broad application spectrum ranges from computation of driver type-dependent speed profiles to full driver models that can be used in full vehicle simulations within commercial MBS software.

© Fraunhofer ITWM
The driver-vehicle-environment triangle
Driver and operator modeling
© Fraunhofer ITWM
Driver and operator modeling

Developing Operator Models for the Commercial Vehicle Segment

Another research priority lies in the development of operator models for the commercial vehicle segment, primarily, for agricultural and construction equipment. There is, of course, a great variety of equipment and diversity of purpose in this segment. As mentioned earlier, the influence of the operator is especially significant for such equipment. We develop special context related descriptive operator models that map individual work tasks (e.g. earth mover fill the truck with material from point A) depending on operator type and useful for the full system simulation.

An outstanding tool for the design, development, implementation, and validation of both driver and operator models is our driving simulator RODOS. RODOS permits the driver/operator actions to be observed and analyzed under reproducible limiting conditions, which increases the efficiency of the development process as well as substantially improving the quality of the models.

Assistance System

Another priority activity of ours closely linked with the driver model development lies in the area of development focused on driver/operator assistance systems.

The use of special vehicle models, similar to simulation based prediction, help to determine recommended actions or warnings to be provided to the driver/operator. As mentioned above, optimal control methods and model-specific control approaches are important in addition to the methods of co-simulation in a real time context.

Our driving simulator RODOS serves as the development, validation, and parameterization platform.