Steering / Input
You will appreciate the flexible means that steering controls can be connected to OpenDS. Currently, OpenDS allows the steering angle and acceleration to be changed, as well as a braking force to be applied.
As a fallback or for testing, the OpenDS can be controlled via a standard keyboard. However, since a keyboard does not support gradual button presses, this is not suitable for most experiments or demonstrations.
There are numerous high quality steering wheels sold as gaming devices available which are a good choice for most experiments. You should look out for products that also support a gas and brake pedal in order to make full use of OpenDS driving tasks such as the ConTRe Task. In our lab we have successfully used the Logitech Driving Force GT steering wheel, but there are also other viable alternatives.
At this time, OpenDS does not utilize the force feedback feature that some game controllers offer, but we plan to add this in the future.
Connecting to Vehicles
For the most realistic driving experience, a real vehicle can be placed in front of a projection screen. To send the steering commands from the car to the simulator, OpenDS provides a CAN-bus interface. The CAN bus is the bus system used in almost all newer vehicles to exchange onboard commands and send status updates. However, each implementation is different, so you may have to adapt the module accordingly. Also, the method of physically connecting to the car differs and for some cars requires more effort.
Our lab has successfully integrated the Smart Fortwo car and we provide the corresponding connector module as part of OpenDS. The physical connection to the car can be achieved via the OBD bus and a CAN-USB-adaptor. Please contact us if you would like to learn more about how to realize this.
We now support motion platforms as well. Integrated and tested: Atomic Motion Systems Symphinity.