Investigators

Daniel V. McGehee
The University of Iowa
National Advanced Driving Simulator
Ashley McDonald
The University of Iowa
National Advanced Driving Simulator

Final Report Summary

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Project

Advanced Vehicle Technology Simulation and Research Outreach to STEM Programs

Vehicle safety technology is rapidly changing and evolving overnight. Many drivers find themselves behind the wheel of vehicles that have advanced safety technologies that not only provide support during a crash, but have the ability to prevent the crash from ever occurring. However, studies show that drivers have limited or uncertain knowledge about how the vehicle technologies work (McDonald, McGehee, et al., 2015). Additionally, the Principal Investigators are faced with a younger population that is becoming less and less interested in becoming drivers or being engaged in the driving task at all. It is critical that not only experienced drivers, but also young and novice drivers have a firm understanding of how to effectively interact with vehicle technologies, so they are adequately prepared behind the wheel. Effective and appropriate use of vehicle technologies will make roads safer and continue to save lives and prevent injuries. The University of Iowa (UI) Public Policy Center (PPC) and the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) have a dedicated museum exhibit in the UI's Mobile Museum. The PPC and NADS exhibit will showcase human factors, transportation and simulation research completed at the University. Additionally, the main feature of the exhibit includes a miniSIM experience that allows visitors to experience advanced vehicle technologies such as blind spot warning, forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control in a realistic environment. The exhibit is meant to not only motivate consumers to understand how advanced vehicle safety technologies work most effectively, but also introduce young students to the importance of vehicle safety technology and human factors research. The PPC and NADS are hopeful that an interactive and lucrative presentation space will encourage young adults and young students to explore the world of vehicle and transportation research.

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