Conference Proceeding

Comparison of the Minisim and Stisim Driving Simulators for the Detection of Impairment: An Alcohol Validation Study

  • Gary Kay (Cognitive Research Corporation, Saint Petersburg, FL)
  • Omar Ahmad (University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA)
  • Timothy Brown (University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA)
  • Andrew Veit (University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA)


Detection of alcohol impairment is often used to evaluate the sensitivity of a protocol to detect the effects of other types of impairment. This study was designed to compare the sensitivity of two simulator platforms with different underlying architectures using equivalent driving scenarios. The driving scenario consisted of a twenty minute drive on a relatively straight rural roadway with a divided attention task presented infrequently during the drive. A total of 18 subjects completed drives on both simulators at two levels of BAC. It was hypothesized that both simulator platforms would be sensitive to the effects of alcohol. On driving variables and on divided attention variables the MiniSim simulator showed greater sensitivity to the impairing effects of alcohol (at doses below 0.10% BAC) than was found with the STI simulator. The SDLP variable (lane position deviation) was sensitive to alcohol effects with both simulators. However, there was clearly greater sensitivity seen with the MiniSim simulator. For a number of driving and divided attention variables significant results were obtained with the MiniSim, whereas results for the STISIM failed to show a significant alcohol effect. The greater sensitivity of the MiniSim compared to the STISIM is potentially due to a number of differences between the two simulators, though the difference in the vehicle dynamics model would be expected to be the largest determining factor.

How to Cite:

Kay, G. & Ahmad, O. & Brown, T. & Veit, A., (2013) “Comparison of the Minisim and Stisim Driving Simulators for the Detection of Impairment: An Alcohol Validation Study”, Driving Assessment Conference 7(2013), 191-197. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2013 the author(s)

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Published on
18 Jun 2013
Peer Reviewed