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

Rachel Eng passed the oral exam for her Masters of Science degree and has been admitted into the PhD program at the University of Guelph. Nice going Rachel!

Doctoral student Mallory Terry gave a presentation at the annual meeting of the Psychonomics Society in Boston, MA (November, 2022).

DRiVE lab alumni Brooklin Caren successfully defended her Masters in Applied Science in Engineering in August, 2022, and has secured a position as the Planning and Scheduling Coordinator for Thunder Bay Transit! Congratulations Brooklin!

Rachel Marmer (Neuroscience thesis student) won first prize in the undergraduate division for her presentation entitled “How does visually guided touch impact multiple-object tracking performance?” at the 2022 Virtual Interdisciplinary Psychology Graduate Symposium. Way to go Rachel!

Graduate students Rachel Eng and Mallory Terry both gave presentations at both the annual meeting of the Vision Science Society in Florida in May and the Canadian Society of Brain, Behaviour, and Cognitive Science in July, while Heather Walker, Erika Ziraldo, and Brooklin Caren are giving presentations at the Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals in June.

Graduate students Erika Ziraldo, Heather Walker, and Brooklin Caren (second to fourth from the left) pictured among the next generation of researchers at CARSP (Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals) in Sudbury.

Erika Ziraldo (a DRiVE lab PhD student) was runner up in the Honda Outstanding Student Paper competition at the International Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training, and Vehicle Design (July 23, 2021). Congratulations Erika!

Bears in our Midst! DRiVE lab alumni Alexandra Mueller, now working at the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, developed a novel way of assessing situational awareness in autonomous vehicles (March 2, 2021). To find out more about this study, click here

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).

We would like to welcome Erich MacLean (Computer Engineering) who is joining the DRiVE Lab as our new lab technician