DriverLab: Empowering Vehicle Research at UHN

photo of a man in a car

Every year, roughly 1.3 million people die in car accidents worldwide—an average of 3,287 deaths per day.

UHN, true to its purpose of Transforming lives and communities through excellence in care, discovery and learning , is advancing research and solutions that reduce vehicle collisions and the associated emotional, physical, and financial costs.

This work is being led by The KITE Research Institute, which is home to DriverLab . This state-of-the-art driving simulator is enabling researchers to evaluate modern car safety systems and design, semi-autonomous vehicles and driverless cars. As well, the lab is being used to explore the impact of health and medications on driving performance, with an aim of increasing driver safety in healthy older adults and people living with injury or illness.

Despite a decrease in traffic by 60 percent due to the pandemic, over 40 percent of all fatal car accidents still occur at night. The current “gold standard” of on-road testing typically occurs during clear daytime conditions that do not realistically mimic the challenges that drivers face. To address this issue, DriverLab offers a unique feature that produces real rain droplets on the windshield, and a glare simulator that recreates the harsh glare of oncoming headlights at night and during poor weather. KITE DriverLab is the only simulator of its kind in Canada and is among the most sophisticated driving simulators in the world.

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