The opportunity for a person with disability to drive a vehicle presents a major step towards a full and independent life. In some cases, employment is not possible due to the inability to control a motor vehicle. Unfortunately, today’s driving evaluations are inadequate because of the qualitative techniques used. This paper presents a new approach to the driving assessment of persons with disabilities in which an advanced vehicle interface system is introduced. This system combines a six-degree-of-freedom force reflecting haptic device and a commercially available vehicle modification system. Innovative ergonomic tasks are presented to determine the appropriate position and orientation of the required driving input device. Further, model based computer assistance is incorporated by using assistance functions such as scaling and tremor filtering. Results, obtained from testing a subject with Muscular Dystrophy (MD), demonstrated that the quantitative ergonomic measurements obtained successfully determined the appropriate position and orientation of the modified steering wheel device.

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