DRiVE lab Homepage

The University of Guelph DRiVE lab (short for Driving Research in Virtual Environments) is a multi-disciplinary research facility that houses both fixed and moving base simulators and brings together faculty researchers from Psychology/Neuroscience (Lana Trick), Engineering (Michelle Oliver) and Computer Science (Andrew Hamilton-Wright, Blair Nonnecke).

Automobile collisions are a leading cause of injury and death in Canada. Not only do collisions cause pain and suffering but they also cost taxpayers millions of dollars every year. The goal of the DRiVE lab is to find ways to reduce collisions by investigating factors that affect crash risk. To accomplish this we use driving simulators. Our Oktal simulator (pictured below) is comprised of a complete car body surrounded by viewing screens that provide a 300o wrap-around virtual environment, and it features high resolution projectors, robust software, realistic simulated environments and a variety of physical feedback systems that provide drivers with the sights, sounds, and some of the sensations of driving while sparing them of the associated risks. We use the simulator to study the impact of in-vehicle technologies (including partial automation), driver distraction, the effects of drugs and alcohol as well as the impact of individual differences, including differences in driver age and experience and driving in at-risk populations such as those with ADHD.

University of Guelph Driving Simulator

In The News

  •  The annual meeting of the Canadian Society of Brain Behaviour and Cognitive Science is to be held at the University of Guelph this year, and  DRIVE lab projects will be well represented. Brooke Pardy, Mallory Terry, and Rachel Eng have submitted presentations for the July 17-19 conference.
  • PhD students Rachel Eng and Mallory Terry are giving presentations at the annual meeting of the Vision Sciences Society in St. Pete’s Florida Beach in Florida (May 19-24, 2023).
  • PhD candidate Erika Ziraldo gave a presentation at SAE (the Society for Automotive Engineers) in Detroit on April 20,  2023, co-authoring a paper in the referred conference proceedings with alumni Brooklin Caren.
  • PhD candidate Heather Walker successfully defended her PhD thesis on March 15 and graduates this spring — just in time. Heather was very pregnant and gave birth to a little girl, Emily Alice Walker, on April 16, 2023. Congratulations Heather on both counts! Emily has already attended her first DRIVE lab meeting.
  • PhD candidate Rachel Eng was awarded an NSERC scholarship (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council).  Congratulations Rachel!
  • Lab technician Erich MacLean was accepted into graduate school in Engineering under the supervision of Dr. Michele Oliver.

Pictured above are recent PhD graduate Heather Walker from Lana Trick’s lab and new Masters student Erich Maclean, who is joining Michele Oliver’s lab.

Student Research

Are you interested in joining our lab? There are different ways to join depending on whether you are from Psychology/Neuroscience, Engineering, or Computer Science. For more information click here: Student opportunities.

Collaborate With Us

DRiVE Lab researchers are always interested in working with industry, government, and other research labs. If you are interested in collaborating with us on driving research, please contact,,  or

>To find out more about the features of the DRiVE lab click on this link (Features).

>To find out more about how to contact us click this link (Contact).

>To find out more about the publications and presentations from the DRiVE lab click on these links (Journals, Refereed conference proceedings) and also note the books and conference tabs under the publications tab on the blue bar above).

Pictures above are graduate students Erika Ziraldo, Heather Walker, and Brooklin Caren at the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals held in Sudbury (second, third, and fourth from the left).