Interview: Henrik Hvitfeldt
Henrik Hvitfeldt started as a research engineer at ECO2 in January 2020 and began his PhD-studies at the centre in May the same year. He has previously been working with motorsport, being part of developing one of the first electrical touring race cars (PWR001) and at Volvo Cars.
1. What is your research project about?
My research project is about motion cueing in driving simulators. Moving base driving simulators is used to simulate driving and riding in a vehicle with the driver in the loop. To create a realistic experience, we give the driver visual cues to make them see where they are driving, sound cues like wind, noise, tyre squeal, engine sound, and motion cues in order to make the driver feel the forces that you would feel by driving the vehicle in real life. My projects focus on building a framework for evaluating and improving the driving simulator motion cues.
2. To which concrete problems could your research be applied?
I think my research mainly could be an enabler for other research. Driving simulators today are used in a number of research topics, such as medical studies, including the effect of drugs and alcoholic, assess driver training, assess new infrastructure such as intersections and roadway geometry, development of active safety functions and virtual development of vehicle concepts. If we are able to improve the correlation between real driving and driving simulators, simulators may take a bigger role in all these research topics, which may be beneficial as we can save both resources, time, and improve safety.
3. How is the research performed?
The research is performed under the ECO2 umbrella, in collaboration with Volvo Cars and VTI . Supervisors of my work are Associate professor Lars Drugge and Associate professor Jenny Jerrelind at KTH Vehicle Dynamics.
4. Who would be most interested in the results of the research?
For sure vehicle manufacturers will be interested. But also driving simulator manufacturers andresearch institutes should benefit where they could use my research to assess and improve their cueing algorithms.
5. Why do you conduct research and what are your plans after your PhD?
I started my PhD-studies because I was looking for a new challenge, something personally developing and at the same time contribute to society. Becoming a researcher was the best step forward for me! My plans after the PhD? I honestly do not know what will happen. If possible I will probably head back to Volvo Cars and their Vehicle Dynamics Department, otherwise I would like to start up something on my own. Maybe a driving simulator company!