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Theses

Les simulateurs de conduite : évaluation de la validité psychologique sous l'angle de la charge mentale

Abstract : The validity of driving simulators is an essential subject to support and highlight the works aiming to understand driving behaviours more thoroughly. While the subjective and behavioural dimensions of that validity have often been studied, they encounter a few limits. On the other hand, studies about simulators’ validity are fairly rare. This dimension compares the implication of mechanisms inherent in behaviours between real and virtual driving. Furthermore, very few studies have considered the various dimensions of validity at once, whereas it could contribute to the development of a metrology for virtual environments. This thesis is precisely about this, with confrontations between classical measurements of behavioural validity (speed, lateral control) and measurements of psychological validity, examined from the viewpoint of mental workload - using indicators such as eye blinking. The main objective was to ascertain whether the mental workload levels vary between road driving and simulated driving when the observed behaviours aren’t relevant to make a clear difference.To answer this question, this thesis has been organised around three experiences carried out on driving simulators and a comparison between actual road driving and low-cost simulated driving. Two of those experiences were conducted to finely analyse the effect of some factors inherent to open road driving (traffic, environment) on driving behaviours and mental workload. The third experience was made to compare the mental workload induced by real driving and low-cost simulator driving, by putting this psychological validity measurement against classical behavioural measurements. Lastly, the fourth experience focused on the effects of the driving wheel’s force-feedback on this same mental workload.The main results revealed a higher workload level on simulated driving than on real driving, while some behavioural measurements (speed) were not different. This increased workload with the simulator does not seem to stem from the wheel’s force-feedback, since the tested feedback methods did not have a repercussion on the workload levels. In the end, this work confirms that taking psychological validity - examined here from a mental workload viewpoint - does have an interest within an evaluation process to analyse in a finer fashion the mental state of users when faced with a virtual reality system. It creates prospects to improve the validity of driving simulators.
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Vérane Faure. Les simulateurs de conduite : évaluation de la validité psychologique sous l'angle de la charge mentale. Informatique. Université Paris-Saclay, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017SACLS590⟩. ⟨tel-01737541v2⟩

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