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Advances in Human-Computer Interaction
Volume 2011, Article ID 673585, 10 pages
Research Article

How the Interpretation of Drivers' Behavior in Virtual Environment Can Become a Road Design Tool: A Case Study

DCT, University of Padua, Via Marzolo 9, 35131 Padova, Italy

Received 28 October 2010; Revised 26 December 2010; Accepted 13 February 2011

Academic Editor: Andreas Riener

Copyright © 2011 Marco Pasetto and Stefano Damiano Barbati. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Driving is the result of a psychological process that translates data, signals and direct/indirect messages into behavior, which is continuously adapted to the exchange of varying stimuli between man, environment and vehicle. These stimuli are at times not perceived and at others perceived but not understood by the driver, even if they derive from tools (vertical signs, horizontal marking) specifically conceived for his safety. The result is unsafe behavior of vehicle drivers. For this reason, the road environment needs to be radically redesigned. The paper describes a research, based on real and virtual environment surveys, aimed to better understand drivers' action-reaction mechanisms inside different scenarios, in order to gain informations useful for a correct organization (design) of the road space. The driving simulator can help in developing, from road to laboratory, the study of new road design tools (geometrical, compositional, constructive ones, street furniture, etc.), because it can be used to evaluate solutions before their usefulness is proved on the road.