rCITI @ Austroads Webinar: Use of a Driving Simulator to Assess Driver Response to the NorthConnex Tunnel Design Features

rCITI @  Austroads Webinar: Use of a Driving Simulator to Assess Driver Response to the NorthConnex Tunnel Design Features

Time: Tue 5 Dec 2023   2:00 – 3:30pm AEDT 

Registrations pls use this link



Prof Michael (Mike) Regan is an Emeritus Professor at the Research Centre for Integrated Transport Innovation (rCITI), UNSW Sydney. He has BSc (Hons) and PhD degrees in Psychology and Human Factors and 25 years’ experience in road safety. His key research interests include road user behaviour and performance, human factors in road design and traffic engineering, vehicle human-machine interface design, human interaction with intelligent transport systems, and driver distraction and inattention.

Dr Prasannah Prabhakharan is a Road Safety Policy Lead at Transport for NSW with more than 14 years’ experience in various human factors and traffic psychology roles across government and academia. He has extensive experience in research design, road safety data, hazard perception and vulnerable road user safety.

Julius Secadiningrat is a Research Associate at the UNSW Research Centre for Integrated Transport Innovation (rCITI), UNSW Sydney, where he manages the TRACSLab (Travel Choice Simulation Laboratory) at UNSW, one of the largest multi-modal and multi-user transport simulation facilities in Australia. He has specialised knowledge and extensive experience in the design, programming, and use of driver, cyclist, and pedestrian simulators as a study platform for the analysis of road user behaviour. His primary research interests are in the application of technology for transport simulation and traffic modelling.

Jack Mazaraki completed a Bachelor degree in Psychology with first-class honours. He has been a research assistant at rCITI, UNSW Sydney, since 2022 assisting with the design, running and analysis of experiments in the laboratory. Jack’s research interests include human factors and clinical psychology (e.g., intellectual disabilities and eating disorders).

Nicholas Rozenauers is currently completing a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering and Commerce at UNSW Sydney and works at OCIUS Technologies. He is also a casual research assistant at rCITI, UNSW Sydney, assisting with the analysis of data from simulator experiments.

Nigel Casey is an experienced tunnel engineering professional. He joined TfNSW in 2010 and has contributed to each of the major NSW road tunnel projects delivered in the past 10 years. Nigel was Project Manager for this work and has a passion for evidence-based decision making on complex tunnel issues.

Richard Merrett is the WestConnex Engineering Director at Transurban. Richard has been involved in transport infrastructure development and delivery in Australia, Hong Kong and the UK. Richard is currently involved in the delivery of the Rozelle Interchange project and previously, the M4-M8 Link main tunnel project. Richard played a key role in the development and selection of the aesthetic lighting features in NorthConnex.


How do drivers respond to the iconic tunnel design features included in the NorthConnex road tunnel project? What were the objectives of the designs and have the design achieved these objectives? How do the designs affect driver behaviour? Join this webinar and hear of the close collaboration between Austroads, the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Transurban and Transport for NSW (TfNSW) in order to understand the answers to those questions, and the bespoke methodology and broad expertise that delivered those answers.

 The webinar will explain the two key elements of this work – the validation of the UNSW driving simulator as a means of assessing road tunnel design features, and the use of that simulator to test driver response to the design features included in NorthConnex. The presenters will explain the logic of the trial methodology, whereby the driving behaviour of trial participants was assessed in the actual tunnel as well as in the simulated tunnel – the latter both with the design features included and with the features excluded.

 The work sought to determine whether the design features enhanced the driver experience without an adverse effect on safety. The work demonstrates that the driving simulator is a valid tool for assessing tunnel design features and therefore provides a platform to inform design features in new tunnels but also a tool to assess how such designs may help to mitigate operational issues in existing tunnels.

 The webinar will be presented by Prof Michael (Mike) Regan, Dr Prasannah Prabhakharan, Julius Secadiningrat, Jack Mazaraki, Nicholas Rozenauers, Nigel Casey and Richard Merrett.

 There will be question and answer opportunities during the session.

 No charge but registration is essential. Can’t make the live session? Register and we’ll send you a link to the recording.

 Register now!

For more information contact:

Dr Elnaz Irannezhad

E: e.irannezhad@unsw.edu.au



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