This paper introduces a vision model used within a synthetic (or purely software-based) driving simulation framework. This framework represents driver decision-making, individual vehicle movement and emergent traffic flow, and is intended to aid the integration of driver psychology, traffic management and vehicle engineering. The aims of developing the vision model discussed here are twofold: Firstly, to remove the unrealistic availability of 'perfect knowledge' concerning the positions and velocities of vehicles in a simulation and secondly, to provide a means of introducing deeper cognitive models of driver reasoning and behaviour. The paper presents the essential mechanisms of the vision model, along with the results of initial validation experiments conducted with Leicestershire Constabulary, Traffic Division in the UK. In these experiments, subjects' visual perception of positions and speeds of moving vehicles were measured and compared with estimations of the agent based driving simulator. The results have demonstrated the feasibility of modelling driver vision within an agent based traffic simulation using concepts derived from AI and ALife systems. The paper is completed by a short discussion on the future development of cognitive models enabled through more detailed vision modelling.
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