• Ku JH, Jang DP, Lee BS, Lee JH, Kim IY and Kim SI (2002). Development and validation of virtual driving simulator for the spinal injury patient. Cyberpsychol Behav. 5 (2): 151-6. Summary: We developed a virtual reality (VR) driving simulator in order to safely evaluate and improve the driving ability of spinal injury patients. The simulator is composed of an actual car, a beam projector, and a large screen. For the interface of our driving simulator, an actual car was adapted and then connected to a computer. We equipped the car with hand control driving devices especially adapted for spinal injury patients. A beam projector was used so that the subjects could see the virtual scene on a large screen set up in front of them. The virtual environment (VE) consisted of 18 sections (e.g., a speed-limited road, a straight road, a curved road, a left turn) and each section was linked naturally to the next. The subjects selected for this trial were 10 normal drivers with valid driving licenses and 15 patients with thoracic or lumbar cord injuries who had prior driving experience. For evaluation, five driving skills were measured, including average speed, steering stability, centerline violations, traffic signal violations, and driving time in various road conditions such as straight and curved roads. The normal subjects manipulated the gas pedal and the brake with their feet, while the patients manipulated a hand control with their hands. After they finished driving the whole course, the participants answered the questions such as "How realistic did the virtual reality driving simulator seem to you?" and "How much was your fear reduced?" In this study, we found that the difference in manipulation method (i.e., the patient group's hand control versus the normal driver's foot controls) does not seem to influence relative performance in the VR driving simulator, though training to improve the use of hand controls in the VR driving simulator would be useful to reduce the fear that the patients feel while driving. Department of Biomedical Engineering, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea.