The present study aims to investigate whether drivers’ age and their experience with driving simulators could explain differences between a subjective estimation of system adaptation and a respective objective systematic measurement.
Assessing valid measurements in driving simulators causes concern because driving simulators are not yet as realistic as real on-road driving scenarios. Common methods like pre-defined training sessions and self-appraisals of simulator adaptation might therefore be insufficient to ensure actual valid data. Hence, influential variables on this discrepancy are investigated.
In total, N = 203 drivers participated in a training session and a subsequent testing session in a close-to-production driving simulator. Subjective adaptation was estimated by the drivers and an objective adaptation value was gathered on the basis of driving accuracy. The discrepancy between these two measures was calculated and related to age, self-reported driving experience and occurrence of previous adaptation.
Subjective adaptation was significantly faster than objective adaptation but neither drivers’ age, experience, nor previous adaptation could explain this discrepancy.
Results indicate that younger and older drivers likewise underestimate the time needed for adaptation. Measuring a subjective point of adaptation seems to be an insufficient measure to ensure simulator validity when assessing both older and younger drivers.