User Introduction Vol. 88
Tianjin University
School Of Management

URL:http://www.tju.edu.cn/   Tianjin, China , Research of transportation administration and signal

Analysis of drivers behavior by using Driving Simulator
Request to use UC-win/Road due to China’s unique transportation practices

■ Visit to a FORUM8 customer in China

 Major cities in China changed during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and 2010 Shanghai Expo. Highways.
Subways, high-speed rail are being constructed and the traditional Chinese cityscape is changing . The
newest curtain wall-covered buildings will be installed.  

 Elaborate city planning schemes is evident due to the attempts to preserve traditional cityscape and buildings
through harmonization of the design of mega buildings with the traditional cityscape.
To plan and design a smooth and safe transportation system, UC-win/Road virtual reality system,
Driving Simulator and “building EXODUS” evacuation analysis software were being used.

 To find out how FORUM8 software is used and what kind of issues are they proposing to solve in China
during intensified economic development times, Up and Coming visited our customer in Tianjin and Shanghai
in August and found out more about their utilization of FORUM8 software. Following are the detailed reports.

■ UC-win/Road and Driving simulator are actively used at Tianjin University

 We will first introduce Tianjin University. Tianjin University which was founded 1895, is the first engineering university in modern China with a total of 20 faculties.

 School Of Management of Tianjin University bought UC-win/Road and Driving Simulator in March this year. This school is rather new among Tianjin University schools and has 3 faculties; Management, Engineering and commerce and Public. The school also researches transportation administration and signal control. Engineering school has faculties including Science, Architecture and Precision science.

 It is interesting how management school instead of engineering school is introducing virtual reality system for management uses. We visited Doctor John who is doing their research through the use of UC-win/Road and Driving Simulator.

■Studying transportation behavior in Tianjin where infrastructure are being constructed

Tianjin is to the east of Beijing; a 30 minutes train ride from the Capital city. Tianjin City has rapidly grown in the last 10 – 20 years. The leading financial center of China is being constructed in the city center. The number of car owners is much more as compared to other cities in China and the traffic is increasing. However, traffic jam is not as severe as other major cities. We saw many on-going construction projects in the city.

 Only the 1st subway line is available now and a total of 6 lines with 200 km in length are scheduled to be completed by 2014.

 The research group under Professor John is studying transportation engineering , namely human transportation behavior. One research theme involved the number of drivers paying attention to traffic signs indicating road congestion. Variables affecting the results include the positioning and height of the traffic signs were also studied in a separate research project.

 Everyone has his own way of thinking. Mass behavior can be studied as a result of the collection of individual ways of thinking. The professor says that they are mainly focusing on theoretical study, however they would like to apply the theory to real road system and the construction work: optimized design of road alignment and height difference or adjusting timing of traffic signal at intersections.

■ Optimizing UC-win/Road to a new research tool for analysis

 We are considering the study of drivers’ behavior based on age, sex and road environment and making parameters by collecting data of tens or hundreds of examinees on the Driving Simulator.    

 In addition, we will be able to take a new approach of logging driving behavior at the time of driving simulation and analyzing the data for the study of optimized road alignment for drivers.

Before using UC-win/Road and Driving Simulator, we could only study in the scope of existing parameters or theory. However, we have gained more flexibility in our research by using UC-win/Road and Driving Simulator because we can study the driving situation under various conditions.

 Doctor John says he is very satisfied with support of FORUM8. That is because they can configure settings remotely by connecting Tianjin University computers with FORUM8 China subsidiary in Shanghai when they are unsure of any operations. Technical issues pertaining to the SDK, (software development kit) can also be solved by remote operation from FORUM8 head office in Japan. 

■ They have chosen UC-win/Road because of its graphic quality and easy-to-use features

 Tianjin University is planning to start laboratory for transportation engineering study. Since the university study transportation behavior, they examined software for research purpose.

 Dr. John explained, “We compared UC-win/Road and Driving Simulator with other products prior to the purchase of both products. More than 200 Chinese companies are producing or selling Driving Simulator. Among them, some cheaper ones have quality deficiencies or don’t allow customization and European or American products are expensive. Hence, we chose UC-win/Road after thorough considerations.”

 Doctor John also mentioned, ”One of UC-win/Road’s strength is the high quality feature of created data such as roads or cities because of the high quality graphic capabilities. It is easy to use and it took us only one or two days to master the software. In addition, we appreciate its excellence in the customizability and the capability of landscape simulation.”  

 To date, about 10 researchers in Tianjin University are doing their research work by using UC-win/Road. We hear that software training course is conducted when new students join the laboratory.  

■ What is necessary for the simulation of the Chinese transportation environment

 Doctor John commented, ”We are using only the basic functions of UC-win/Road and Driving Simulator, however, we want to use an option to tilt the driving seat of the Driving Simulator.”

 As for product requests Dr. John mentioned an interesting point, “We would like to request that the simulator does not crash straight into vehicles ahead upon collision. In addition, we would like to remove the configured setting of driving along the opposite lane or pavement. We also hope that the software can simulate irregular behavior of pedestrians’ red light crossing.

 The reason behind Dr. John’s request for new and different functions is due to Chinese unique transportation environment. If you witness driving practices in China, you will realize that there are frequent acceleration and lane changes and small laps in between vehicles. It is almost like a car chase.           

 When performing the right turn (left turn in Japan), they cut into the on-coming vehicle lane and perform lane-changes even at the road intersections. This is rare in Japan and other Western countries and their behavior is highly unpredictable.
 Pedestrians also display erratic behavior when it comes to crossing roads. They defy red light signals even at the wide multiple lanes junctions. Car horns are screaming but the pedestrians turn a deaf ear. They cross multiple road lanes one at a time until they get across.   

 During the evening rush hour when a lot of pedestrians are on the streets, more and more pedestrians push and shove and appear to be unafraid of traffic signals.   

 In my opinion, accidents will happen easily in Japan if people defy traffic signals and rules. To my surprise, major accidents resulting in fatalities do not occur much in China.     
Cars in general seem accident-free. I have almost never seen any car with scratches or post-accident damage.
 In order to simulate the Chinese unique transportation environment, the function of UC-win/Road and Driving Simulator are requested to adapt to the environment.       
(Interviewed and written by Ryota Ieiri) 

▲Professor Mah and Doctor John
looking at sample UC-win/Road
articles in Up&Coming July 1st issue
▲Main gate of Tianjin University
 ▲Historical campus which was established in 1895
▲Building of School Of Management,Tianjin University
▲UC-win/Road and Driving Simulator in the laboratory
▲Doctor John steering Driving Simulator
▲Professor Mah, Deputy chief of School
Of Management, Tianjin University
▲Keisuke Nakamura of FORUM8 Technology Development (Shanghai), a subsidiary of FORUM8
took the role
of interpreter for the meeting.
▲A lot of construction sites can be seen in Tianjin City
▲Street view from the driving seat:bicycles and pedestrians are rushing in spite of red light
▲Cars as well as pedestrians don’t give ways to each other.