Our Mission

We aim to make roads safer by researching the connection between humans and vehicles. We are home to the National Advanced Driving Simulator, and we now have a new name for our broader institute: the Driving Safety Research Institute.

News

Communicator Award of Excellence

2022 DSRI Annual Report wins national communications award

Friday, May 24, 2024
Our 2022 Annual Report has been recognized by the 30th Annual Communicator Awards by the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts (AIVA).
A group of students huddle around a portable driving simulator.

Celebrating 10 years of SAFER-SIM

Monday, April 22, 2024
Safety Research Using Simulation (SAFER-SIM) is a grant-funded Tier 1 University Transportation Center that shares its research with both students and researchers. See a summary of its impact over the last 10 years.
A bearded man stands next to the vehicle cab inside in NADS-2 simulator.

A Plethora of Driver Monitoring System (DMS) Data

Monday, April 15, 2024
Researchers at DSRI have combined data sets from six past studies that all looked at the use of various driver monitoring systems (DMS) to detect drowsiness, distraction, and other types of impairment.
A man drives a car in a driving simulator.

Two simulators, One simulation

Monday, March 25, 2024
In a multi-year project to connect the NADS-1 and NADS-2 simulators into the same virtual environment, the DSRI team upgraded the hardware and vehicle cab of the NADS-2 simulator. A new full cab is in the NADS-2 space, with a motion base for the cab that uses the miniSim architecture.
Birds eye view of an Unreal Engine scenario of a school

New and upcoming features for miniSim users

Monday, February 26, 2024
Our miniSim program is now supporting a few major upgrades plus more upgrades that will be available soon to miniSim users.
An aerial view of two women sitting in the front of a Volvo XC90 while using adaptive cruise control/

The ADAS experts

Monday, February 12, 2024
Our investigators have been working on a series of studies analyzing advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) technology and consumer understanding of ADAS features.
Dawn Marshall and Tim Brown demonstrate the simulator setup for the alcohol detection study.

Driver monitoring systems (DMS) for cannabis and alcohol detection

Wednesday, January 31, 2024
2023 was a year of driver monitoring systems (DMS) analyses for both cannabis and alcohol detection. DMS projects were collaborations between the University of Colorado, Swinburn University, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and Seeing Machines.
Reichert sits in the half-cab and holds the original Sonata gauge cluster in his right hand and holds the new digital gauge cluster in his left hand

Mechanical engineering student Ken Reichert builds miniSims

Tuesday, January 9, 2024
University of lowa mechanical engineering student Kenneth Reichert has worked on building a custom half-cab simulator alongside miniSim team members for the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.
2023 Annual Report cover

2023: A Year in Review

Monday, January 1, 2024
Check out our recent highlights and accomplishments from the Driving Safety Research Institute, home of the National Advanced Driving Simulator.
ADS Webinar 5 screenshot

ADS Webinar #5 recording: 9 Things to Know When Testing AVs on Rural Roads

Tuesday, November 14, 2023
Watch the recording of our fifth webinar to learn about our top nine challenges and successes from testing a highly automated vehicle on rural Iowa roads, including driving under automation on gravel, in winter weather, using high speeds (65 mph), and more.
DSRI Open House

Photo Gallery: DSRI Open House

Monday, October 23, 2023
Thank you to everyone who joined us for our public open house on Oct. 18 and took a ride in our automated Transit!
KCRG screenshot

University of Iowa Driving Safety Research Institute holds open house showcasing current work and the future of driving

Friday, October 20, 2023
On October 18th, people got an up close look at the work being done here in Eastern Iowa on the future of driving and driver safety.
AVs in Rural America: What's the Holdup?

TR News article published: 'Automated vehicles in rural America: What’s the holdup?'

Friday, October 13, 2023
TR News recently published an article with two of our Iowa team authors titled 'Automated vehicles in rural America: What’s the holdup?'
NADS-1 simulator and automated Ford Transit

UI Driving Safety Research Institute to host public open house, offer rides in an automated shuttle bus

Wednesday, September 6, 2023
Join us on October 18 from 4 to 7 p.m. for our public open house. Attendees can ride in an automated shuttle bus, tour our facility, and drive one of our "miniSim" driving simulators.
dashboard photo showing advanced driving assistant systems (ADAS)

UI researchers studying ADAS features and crashes

Tuesday, August 1, 2023
They are looking for drivers who have been involved in a crash or near-crash situation in the past 12 months while driving a vehicle equipped with at least one ADAS feature to participate in a study.
Drowsy driver

University of Iowa research sheds light on drowsy driving, including risk factors, sleepiness questionnaires & ADAS applications

Monday, July 31, 2023
Drowsy driving is thought to be a probable cause in almost 40% of investigated highway crashes. While our researchers found that notifications do little to change driver performance, nothing replaces quality sleep before a long drive.
Inside NADS-1 simulator

The Long and Winding Road: 25 Years of the National Advanced Driving Simulator

Wednesday, July 19, 2023
From IEEE Xplore magazine, this article summarizes the capabilities and history behind the National Advanced Driving Simulator.
tractor

Podcast listen: Safely sharing the road with farm vehicles

Tuesday, July 18, 2023
Listen to a short podcast on our SaferTrek project, which studied how passenger vehicles interact with farm vehicles on the road. With researchers Michelle Reyes and Cara Hamann.
Emily Shull

Recent ISE PhD alum to begin career in driving safety research at NHTSA

Friday, July 14, 2023
Emily Shull recently graduated from the University of Iowa College of Engineering with a PhD in industrial and systems engineering. Soon she will begin her professional career as a general engineer at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Omar Ahmad and Alec La Velle

Representing Rural America: Testing Automated Driving on Rural Roads

Friday, July 7, 2023
The University of Iowa is leading the way in testing a highly automated vehicle on unmarked and gravel roads, in winter weather, and at highway speeds.
Gazette screenshot

UI researchers’ highly-automated van has ‘amazing potential’ for rural areas

Wednesday, June 14, 2023
The Gazette reports: The white Ford Transit could be a campus shuttle or a rural transit service van. Only those aboard the vehicle knew it was driving itself around the University of Iowa’s Oakdale research campus. ...
KCRG screenshot

Univ. of Iowa researchers become one of the first to test driverless bus on rural roads

Wednesday, June 14, 2023
KCRG reports: The University of Iowa is shared their results on a self-driven bus that has traveled hundreds of miles throughout rural Iowa. ...
KWWL screenshot

Automated vehicles could become a viable transportation alternative

Wednesday, June 14, 2023
KWWL reports: In Coralville on Tuesday, the Driving Safety Research Institute showed off the results of 2.5 years of research into automated vehicles on rural roads. ...
Steve in copilot seat in the ADS for Rural America Transit

Steve Cable awarded 2023 Outstanding Staff Award

Monday, April 24, 2023
We are happy to announce that Steve Cable, our senior systems administrator, has been awarded the 2023 UI Outstanding Staff Award. This award recognizes current University of Iowa staff who have made outstanding accomplishments and contributions above and beyond their job responsibility that significantly benefit or bring honor or recognition to the university. 
Drugs and Driving presentation slide

Science Café: Drugs and Driving

Friday, April 21, 2023
Tim Brown, Driving Safety Research Institute, and Gary Milavetz, University of Iowa College of Pharmacy, were recent guests of the Science Café, where they discussed drugs and driving.
River to River, Iowa Public Radio

Listen: A ride in University of Iowa's automated vehicle

Thursday, April 20, 2023
On this special on-the-road edition of IPR's 'River to River,' director Dan McGehee, safety lead Cheryl Roe, and instrumentation lead Greg Wagner take IPR host Ben Keiffer for a ride in their automated vehicle.
Iowa City postcard with John McGivern

John McGivern's Main Streets - Iowa City, Iowa

Friday, April 14, 2023
We were recently featured in the Iowa City episode of John McGivern's Main Streets showcasing many of Iowa City's hidden gems. Check out this episode to see why Iowa City is a town for everyone!
Webinar 4 screenshot

ADS for Rural America Webinar 4: Data Portal recording now available

Thursday, April 13, 2023
The recording is now available from our fourth ADS for Rural America webinar, this one focusing on our data portal and accessing our data.
River to River, Iowa Public Radio

The Hazards of Distracted Driving: McGehee on Iowa Public Radio

Friday, March 10, 2023
One in 5 crashes in Iowa are caused by distracted driving. Our director, Dan McGehee talks on Iowa Public Radio's River to River about the hazards of distracted driving.
Hands over a steering wheel

Elon Musk has promised self-driving Teslas for years. Experts say it's not even close.

Monday, February 27, 2023
This Business Insider article discussed the future of autonomous vehicles with comments from University of Iowa Driving Safety Research Institute director, Daniel McGehee.
ADS for Rural America Ford transit on rural road

ADS for Rural America: Lessons learned so far

Monday, February 20, 2023
As of fall 2022, we're more than halfway done with our 2.5-year ADS for Rural America Project. The development of any new technology requires lessons learned along the way. This article explores the lessons we have learned in the first half of this U.S. DOT-funded demonstration project.
Voice Control Buttons

An alternative to touchscreens? In-car voice control is finally good

Thursday, February 16, 2023
This Ars Technica article features commentary from University of Iowa Driving Safety Research Institute director, Daniel McGehee.
Stefan Plaettner stands by the viewing window of the NADS-1 simulator

DSRI welcomes Fulbright scholar Stefan Plaettner

Wednesday, February 15, 2023
Join us in welcoming Stefan Plaettner, visiting Fulbright scholar from the Technical University of Dresden to the University of Iowa Driving Safety Research Institute (DSRI).
NADS-1 simulator and automated Ford Transit

A new name for driving research at the University of Iowa

Monday, February 6, 2023
The University of Iowa National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) is excited to announce that the unit has been renamed to the University of Iowa Driving Safety Research Institute (DSRI). The name change was prompted to reflect both the unit’s established expertise in driving simulation and growing work in on-road driving research. The Driving Safety Research Institute will continue to house the NADS-1 simulator, along with its current fleet of on-road research vehicles.
Webinar 3 screenshot

Recording available for webinar 3: Rider and safety driver experience

Friday, February 3, 2023
A recording is now available of our third webinar on our ADS for Rural America project, which included video interviews of past riders, results of rider surveys (including their anxiety levels and perceptions of the technology), as well as safety driver experience and perceptions.
A bioptic telescope (pictured) is used by drivers in some states to read road signs.

Navigating with a visual impairment

Monday, January 30, 2023
The study is examining how drivers with and without visual impairments navigate while driving in an unfamiliar area, with the ultimate goal of finding safer alternatives to the use of a bioptic telescope.
Camry cab inside the NADS-1 simulator

Taking control in Level 3 Automation

Thursday, January 26, 2023
This article summarizes findings from two recent studies that our researchers have worked on with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) examining the various aspects of transition of control (TOC) between human drivers and periods of automated driving.
NBC News screenshot

NBC National News: Are car touchscreens distracting drivers?

Tuesday, January 17, 2023
We were recently featured in an NBC National News segment about vehicle touchscreens and distracted driving. Watch and find out how distracting touchscreens and cell phones are to drivers.
Tim Brown on KCRG

Univ. of Iowa researchers study drugged driving outcomes

Friday, December 30, 2022
Death and injury among road-users is up to an alarming rate according to a recent study by NHTSA and local researchers. They found that 55.8% of people seriously injured or killed in road crashes tested positive for one or more drugs.
driver in car

New report finds nearly half of Iowa drivers involved in serious crashes tested positive for drugs

Thursday, December 29, 2022
New data from a NHSTA study, in partnership with the University of Iowa, show 45.3% of seriously injured drivers reporting to the Emergency Department tested positive for at least one drug. The top two were alcohol and cannabinoids.
2022 NADS Annual Report cover

2022 Annual Report now available

Wednesday, December 28, 2022
Our 2022 annual report is here! We have spent the past year researching automated vehicles, traffic safety, drugged driving, and much more. Plus, read about our upcoming name change to "Driving Safety Research Institute" on page 3.
miniSim

miniSim: A year in review

Wednesday, December 21, 2022
FY22 resulted in a number of system upgrades and custom development for the miniSim team.
Tim Brown, PhD and Rose Schmitt collaborate on testing a driving scenario for an impairment study.

Detecting impairment from cannabis

Wednesday, December 7, 2022
The theme this past year with much of our drugged-driving research has revolved around various methods of detecting driving impairment from cannabis use.
Mormon Trek Blvd in Iowa City

Impact of 'road diets'

Wednesday, November 30, 2022
For more than two decades, the Iowa DOT has been encouraging Iowa communities to consider converting certain four-lane streets to three lanes (also known as a “road diet”) with the aim to improve safety and reduce crashes. 
Roe (pictured) is shown driving the NADS Ford Transit and is also safety lead for our ADS for Rural America demonstration project

Roe takes on new responsibility with Iowa ATC

Wednesday, November 9, 2022
Spearheaded by the Iowa DOT, the Iowa Advisory Council on Automated Transportation (ATC) is setting the course for the future of automated transportation in Iowa.
Students Tommy Rogers and Marcus Miller worked on the robotics platform this past summer, along with and Kyle Chi (not pictured)

Advancing high school robotics

Wednesday, November 9, 2022
Three high school students spent this past summer making enhancements to a robot car.
Inside NADS-1 simulator

NADS lands contract with NHTSA for automated vehicle research

Thursday, October 20, 2022
The University of Iowa National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) has secured a contract with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for a project that will look at roadway interactions between human-driven and automated vehicles.
Thomas outside of NADS leaning against his Mazda Miata

Student Internship Highlight: Thomas Burt

Monday, October 17, 2022
Thomas Burt is a graduate research assistant at the National Advanced Driving Simulator and an Industrial and Systems Engineering Ph.D. student at the University of Iowa who spent his summer as an intern for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

2022's Best & Worst Cities to Drive in

Wednesday, October 12, 2022
Dr. Daniel V. McGehee, director of the National Advanced Driving Simulator, is featured in WalletHub's recent article about the Best Cities to Drive in.
Webinar 2 screenshot

Recording of Webinar 2: Vehicle Hardware and Software now available

Thursday, September 29, 2022
The recording is now available for webinar about our vehicle, including details on the installed hardware and integrated software system, along with some lessons learned and advice for others embarking on similar projects.
ADS for Rural America Shuttle Bus on Rural Road

On the Rural Road to Autonomy

Wednesday, September 21, 2022
Automated Driving System program looks to raise the bar for self-driving in the country.
Justin Mason in the NADS control room

NADS welcomes new assistant research scientist Justin Mason

Wednesday, September 14, 2022
Help us welcome our new assistant research scientist Justin Mason. Check out this quick Q&A to learn more about what drives Mason's research and why he chose the University of Iowa.
Black screen with text "Are you interested in driving research?"

Student Overview: National Advanced Driving Simulator

Monday, August 1, 2022
Are you interested in driving research? The National Advanced Driving Simulator has a variety of opportunities for students from different disciplines.
Dan McGehee and Christopher Rundus at graduation ceremony

Q&A with 2022 Ph.D. Alum Christopher R. M. Rundus

Monday, July 18, 2022
Recent Industrial and Systems Engineering Ph.D. student Christopher R.M. Rundus had his choice of careers when he graduated from the University of Iowa. Learn more about his time at the university and his future plans.
Hexagon's Sri Mushty, one of the autonomous software specialists working on our automated vehicle

ADS for Rural America update: July 2022

Tuesday, July 12, 2022
We recently started Phase 3 (of 6) of our project, with the help of one of our tech partners, Hexagon | AutonomouStuff. See also how our co-pilot display works.
image of Dr. Daniel McGehee on a blue screen

PAVE Panel "Digital Infrastructure in Highly Automated Driving" with Dr. Dan McGehee

Thursday, June 30, 2022
Check out the recording of last week's PAVE Panel "Digital Infrastructure in Highly Automated Driving" with Dr. Dan McGehee, director of the National Advanced Driving Simulator.
Vehicle dashboard with extensive Apple CarPlay screens

Apple Embraces the Ever-Expanding Dashboard Touchscreen

Thursday, June 16, 2022
Infotainment systems are often used to provide drivers with a less distracting alternative to the smartphone. However, there are still many safety concerns in regard to these systems, and there is little research that focuses on distraction and infotainment systems directly. This WIRED article featuring Dr. Daniel McGehee takes a look at the future of infotainment systems, specifically the next generation of CarPlay.
gray and blue screen with white text "surviving bad"

Cannabis Impaired Driving

Thursday, June 16, 2022
Cannabis Impaired Driving. Timothy Brown, Ph.D. Dr. Tim Brown, the Director of Drugged Driving Research at the University of Iowa's National Advanced Driving Simulator joins us to talk about Cannabis and Drugged Driving, and the results are scary.
gray and blue screen with white text "surviving bad"

The Science of Distracted Driving

Thursday, June 16, 2022
The Science of Distracted Driving with Dr. Daniel McGehee – National Advanced Driving Simulator. Professor Daniel McGehee from the National Advanced Driving Simulator at the University of Iowa joins us to talk about the science of distracted driving, multi-tasking, and safety.
Woman stepping out of a grey car

Can CBD Impact Your Driving Ability? What We Know

Thursday, June 2, 2022
Millions of Americans regularly use CBD but little is known about the impacts of CBD on driving ability. This Healthline article, with comments from Tim Brown, director of drugged driving research at the National Advanced Driving Simulator, gives insight into driving ability and CBD use.
Blue screen with text " You are still the most important part of driving"

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) vs. Automation

Thursday, May 19, 2022
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are becoming more common in everyday vehicles. Watch our quick video to learn about the differences between ADAS and automation and your responsibilities as a driver.
Daniel McGehee, PhD

Congrats to McGehee on his tenure

Monday, May 9, 2022
Congratulations to NADS Director Daniel McGehee, PhD, as he has recently been promoted and tenured as part of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.
Alumni Spotlight Graphic - Shan Bao

Alumni Spotlight: Shan Bao, PhD

Thursday, April 28, 2022
Alumni spotlight of Shan Bao, a former Ph.D. student at the University of Iowa who researched automotive human factors
cannabis dose

Webinar recording: Cannabis and Driving Safety - What's new and what's next?

Thursday, April 21, 2022
Watch a panel discussion of recent research findings on cannabis and driving, including what research is needed to better understand how cannabis impacts driving performance and safety, as well how improved technology might be able to detect impaired driving.
ADS webinar 1 screenshot

ADS for Rural America webinar 1 recording: Focus on Safety

Sunday, April 3, 2022
Watch a recording of our first webinar about our ADS for Rural America project, "Focus on Safety," held on Thursday, April 21.
Vehicle with crash damage

Drug use in crashes higher during COVID-19 pandemic

Tuesday, March 8, 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of things, including the prevalence of drugged driving. The University of Iowa was selected as one of the collection sites to examine the prevalence of drugged driving among seriously and fatally injured road users
Farm equipment with SaferTrek GPS/video data devices

SaferTrek: Sharing the Road

Tuesday, March 1, 2022
Using devices installed on farm equipment, researchers collected data and video on vehicle interactions with on-road farm equipment.
A Tesla Model S75D with custom data collection capabilities is one of five vehicles in the fleet

Does regenerative braking have safety benefits?

Monday, February 14, 2022
If you’ve driven an electric vehicle, you’ve likely used regenerative braking. But is there a safety benefit to this feature? “You basically get a head start on the braking so that the stopping distance is reduced,” explained Chris Schwarz, PhD.
Toyota studying innovative headlights that project onto pavement to alert pedestrians

Innovative headlights could help save pedestrians, bicyclists

Tuesday, February 1, 2022
A new type of headlight may help save pedestrians from getting struck by vehicles at night, studied at University of Iowa with researchers from Toyota CSRC.
PAVE panel

McGehee, Ahmad appear on PAVE panel, see recording

Thursday, January 27, 2022
We're partnering with PAVE Campaign for their virtual panel "All AVs Are Local: Iowa's Automated Rural Shuttle" on Wednesday, Feb. 2, at 1 p.m. CT! Join our own Dan McGehee and Omar Ahmad as they discuss our ADS for Rural America automated shuttle project, with a recording available after Feb. 2.
Man driving with marijuana in hand

‘Arbitrary’ cutoffs of THC levels make it difficult to measure impaired driving

Friday, January 14, 2022
Knowing if you’re too impaired to drive due to cannabis use is not nearly as straightforward as it is from alcohol use. Finding a way to measure this is a topic of some of our ongoing research.
2021 NADS Annual Report

A year in review: Rural roads, drowsy driving, cannabis, and more

Tuesday, January 4, 2022
See what we’ve been up to in the past year in our NADS Annual Report, with stories about ADS for Rural America, driving drowsy, regenerative braking safety benefits, cannabis and driving, and more. 
Co-pilot and safety driver in the automated shuttle bus

ADS for Rural America project update: Dec. 2021

Friday, December 10, 2021
The ADS for Rural America project launched in October 2021 and has completed its first phase of data collection. See an example map and learn more about the roles of the safety driver and co-pilot.
Ben Berhow checks analog and digital inputs on a miniSim cab

Students build miniSims, on-the-job experience

Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Ben Berhow and Wil Comer—two seniors majoring in mechanical engineering at the University of Iowa—both landed part-time jobs with the miniSim team at the National Advanced Driving Simulator this past year, giving them valuable on-the-job experience. 
Study subject wearing a mobile, wireless X24 EEG headset and completing the Cannabis Impairment Detection Application (CIDA) on a tablet

Researchers identify brain markers that signify cannabis impairment, win ‘top paper’ award

Friday, October 22, 2021
In an important step toward identifying who is too impaired to drive due to cannabis use, a team of researchers from the University of Iowa and Advanced Brain Monitoring found there are specific markers in brain activity linked to cannabis intoxication that consistently and negatively impact driving performance.
Global Road Safety Podcast logo

Podcast: The Latest Research on Drugged Driving with Timothy Brown, PhD

Thursday, October 7, 2021
Research Scientist Timothy Brown, PhD, at the National Advanced Driving Simulator discusses his extensive experience in drugged driving research studies: specifically, his work on the dangers of prescription drug and marijuana use while driving.
Automated shuttle bus on rural Iowa road

Ride with us! Participation sign-up now open

Thursday, September 9, 2021
Want to ride in a partially automated vehicle with us? We’re now looking for people who are age 65 or older, have a disability that affects their mobility (age 25 or older), or have low vision impairment (age 25 or older). We’ll be stopping in Iowa City, Hills, Riverside, and Kalona.
Driving Assessment 2021

Driving Assessment student award winners announced

Tuesday, August 3, 2021
Another successful Driving Assessment conference is in the books! Student award winners included Linda Pipkorn of Chalmers, Erika Ziraldo of University of Guelph, and Katelyn Schwieters of University of Minnesota.
Staff member Cherie Roe speaks with members of the public at the Johnson County Fair

Summer outreach events

Tuesday, July 27, 2021
We've had a great time so far this summer attending local outreach events to talk to people about our ADS for Rural America project. We've been to three of the four communities along our project route: Riverside, Hills, and Iowa City.
a smoker exhaling

Study: Marijuana’s impact on driving is strain-specific

Wednesday, July 7, 2021
In a study published in Traffic Injury Prevention, our researchers found that effects on driving performance after cannabis use can depend on the type of high that the user experiences. Cannabis use that produces more stimulation results in less impact on driving, while use that produces a more stoned or high feeling results in worse driving performance.
Map of the United States with Iowa ranked 30th for teen driving safety

2021’s Best and Worst States for Teen Drivers

Tuesday, July 6, 2021
Check out our Director Dan McGehee’s expert take on teen driving safety and a ranking of the best states for teen drivers. Do you agree with Iowa’s ranking?
Automated shuttle bus on rural Iowa road

Photo Gallery: ADS for Rural America

Monday, June 14, 2021
Learn more about our ADS for Rural America project and our newly-equipped Ford Transit shuttle bus, set to be on Iowa roads later this summer.

O’Neal receives NICHD award to further study teen driving safety

Friday, May 21, 2021
Congratulations to Dr. Elizabeth O'Neal, a postdoctoral research scholar at the National Advanced Driving Simulator and the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, for receiving a K99/R00 Award from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
ADS shuttle bus LiDAR

Case study: Automated Driving Systems for Rural America

Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Our tech partners Hexagon | AutonomouStuff in Morton, Illinois, have been busy with the final software integration and testing of our new automated vehicle, set to hit Iowa rural roads this summer.
KCRG TV9 News with John Gaspar at NADS

Iowa State Patrol focus on bad driving habits with enforcement project, say distracted driving plays a role

Thursday, April 29, 2021
KCRG TV9 News reports on the rise in distracted driving, what law enforcement has seen, and the research being done on distracted driving at the University of Iowa National Advanced Driving Simulator.
KWWL: distracted driving

Expert says driver distraction is becoming more dangerous in Iowa

Tuesday, April 27, 2021
NADS Director Dan McGehee talks with KWWL on the dangers of distracted driving, especially on Iowa's unforgiving roads.
Distracted driving research

NADS researchers work to understand driver distraction and make roads safer

Thursday, April 22, 2021
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. 3,142 people were killed from distracted driving in 2019 – a 10% increase from 2018. NADS researchers work to reverse that trend.

What Biden’s Infrastructure Plan Means For Iowa

Monday, April 5, 2021
NADS Director Dan McGehee appeared on Iowa Public Radio's River to River, toward the end of the hour talking about next generation transportation.
ADS Transit with labels

Project update: Equipment installed on new research vehicle

Wednesday, March 10, 2021
The Transit shuttle bus for the University of Iowa's ADS for Rural America project has been equipped with automated driving technology by Illinois-based AutonomouStuff.
birds eye view of parking lot

Autonomous Lingo in the Repair Space

Friday, March 5, 2021
Advertising campaigns have been overestimating vehicle’s capabilities since the 1960s, but with today’s technology, hyperbolic language has the power to be dangerous. NADS Director Dan McGehee explains.
Iowa Magazine video: ADS for Rural America

Video: Automated Driving Systems for Rural America

Wednesday, February 10, 2021
How do people in rural areas who can’t drive get where they need to go? Decades down the road, “AVs could allow these people to continue to live independently,” says Omar Ahmad.
Connected simulation

Connected simulation captures realistic human interaction

Thursday, February 4, 2021
NADS recently wrapped up a multi-year project connecting multiple people interacting in the same virtual environment.
Cameras mounted on the exterior of the driver and passenger side doors capture lane position.

Medical research meets driving research

Tuesday, February 2, 2021
Does exercise change driving performance in patients with Parkinson’s disease? 
Tesla and Ford Transit, UI automated vehicles

Creating an Automated Shuttle for America’s Backroads

Thursday, January 28, 2021
An automated shuttle bus is about to hit Iowa roads next summer. Here's a brief update on our ADS for Rural America project by ADAPT, including how our vehicle is becoming automated at AutonomouStuff, LLC to how COVID-19 has impacted the project.
Visiting scientist Felix Ellensohn

International scholars partner on research projects

Monday, January 25, 2021
Visiting scientists from around the world come to NADS to work on research projects for sometimes months at a time and collaborate with our experts. One such example was in fall 2019, with Felix Ellensohn from the Technical University of Munich, Germany.

Countermeasures to reduce drowsy driving

Monday, January 25, 2021
Teen driver study

Teens at the wheel

Wednesday, January 20, 2021
When parents are in the vehicle with their teenage driver, crash rates are low. However, as soon as teens are by themselves, the crash rates skyrocket. Can new-driver training programs be used to effectively lower those rates?
2020 Annual Report cover

Highlights from 2020

Monday, January 11, 2021
Learn more about our major accomplishments from FY20, including ADS for Rural America, cannabis and driving, teens at the wheel, human factors, connected simulation, Parkinson's disease, new options on miniSim, and more
Iowa Magazine: The Road to the Future Runs Through Iowa

The Road to the Future Runs Through Iowa

Tuesday, December 15, 2020
University of Iowa researchers at the National Advanced Driving Simulator pave the way for the automated vehicles of tomorrow. But how soon before self-driving cars get here? Iowa's rural roads could hold the key.
A research assistant demonstrates how vaporized cannabis is inhaled using heated air in place of cannabis.

Drugged driving research: Major findings 2010–2020

Monday, December 14, 2020
A quick summary of our major drugged driving research findings from the past 10 years.
Ford Transit shuttle bus at AutonomouStuff

ADS project update: Our vehicle is now becoming automated

Friday, December 4, 2020
Our Automated Driving Systems (ADS) for Rural America project vehicle, a Ford Transit, is being outfitted with technologies that will give it automated capabilities. Soon, the transit will arrive at the University of Iowa and our demonstration project and testing will begin.

KGAN: New driving behavior a concern heading into winter

Friday, November 20, 2020
Changing driver behavior due to the COVID-19 pandemic in combination with dangerous winter conditions raises concern for many driving safety officials in the state of Iowa. Driving Safety Research Institute director, Daniel McGehee discusses the dangers of speed and the changes in driver behavior due to the pandemic.
Inside the NADS-1 simulator

NADS pulls in nearly $1.5M to further study transition of control in automated vehicles

Thursday, October 15, 2020
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) recently granted the University of Iowa National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) a $1.45 million award to further study transition of control in automated vehicles in a simulation environment.
360 globe view of the NADS-1 bay

Take a 360 degree virtual tour of the National Advanced Driving Simulator

Thursday, September 24, 2020
Check out our virtual tour of our facility, including the simulators and research vehicles.

The Rural Hurdle

Thursday, September 24, 2020
What happens when an autonomous vehicle is not on a coastline highway, but a gravel road that it has to navigate? That is precisely what Omar Ahmad and his team at the University of Iowa are hoping to answer.
Director Dan McGehee in front of the NADS-1 simulator

NADS provides national leadership on COVID-19 research protocols

Tuesday, September 8, 2020
NADS Director Daniel McGehee made recommendations for human subjects testing in driving research for the COVID-19 era to the Transportation Research Board.
Cannabis and driving study example

University of Iowa researchers study effects of cannabis on driving

Wednesday, September 2, 2020
The National Advanced Driving Simulator at the University of Iowa is conducting a paid study to test cannabis users to determine levels of impairment of those who use cannabis.
Rural road automated driving

UI ramping up automated vehicle testing on local rural roads from $7M USDOT grant

Monday, August 10, 2020
Automated vehicle route to go through Iowa City, Hills, Riverside, and Kalona starting in 2021

Car and Driver Magazine: We Take an $80 Million Driving Simulator for a Spin

Saturday, July 11, 2020
The University of Iowa uses a Toyota Camry and a lot of tech to study how humans interact with the future. We went for a drive.

Parents Play A Significant Role In Keeping Teen Drivers Safe

Monday, February 10, 2020
According to a recent study from the University of Iowa, the combination of in-vehicle video monitoring and conversations about safe driving between parents and teens can reduce the risk of serious car accidents.

Automated Vehicle Technology with Dr. Dan McGehee

Tuesday, December 24, 2019
We hear so much about self-driving vehicles but in reality how far away are they? My guest is Dr. Dan McGehee the Director of the Dan McGehee Image Dec 2019Human Factors and Vehicle Safety Research Division at the University of Iowa National Advanced Driving Simulator in the College of Engineering. What he has to say about automated vs. autonomous vehicles may surprise you. What is really amazing is that his team works on projects that are 20 years ahead of production.

Touch screens in cars are distracting, so why do we keep putting them there?

Saturday, October 19, 2019
Daniel McGehee is a human factors engineer and director of the National Advanced Driving Simulator at the University of Iowa, where he studies distracted driving and specializes in figuring out how to design vehicle interfaces around human limitations, such as memory and vision.
Connected driving on rural roads

Iowa researchers prepare rural roads for the future

Friday, October 4, 2019
Most roads in the U.S. are in rural areas, and the University of Iowa’s National Advanced Driving Simulator is working to make them safer and prepare them for a future with driverless vehicles.

Advanced Brain Monitoring Hits the Road with Cannabis Impairment Detection

Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Advanced Brain Monitoring is set to develop a Cannabis Impairment Detection Application. Building on successful achievements of a multi-year collaboration with the University of Iowa’s National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) involving drug effects on driving and brain activity, the team will conduct controlled cannabis dose-response studies with an alcohol comparison to assess the sensitivity and specificity of the CIDA.

A Cool 60 Million for Automated Driving R&D

Wednesday, September 25, 2019
The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded nearly $60 million in grant funding to eight projects in seven states to test the safe integration of automated driving systems (ADS). The grants seek to gather safety data to inform rulemaking and foster collaboration amongst state and local government and private partners.

Federal grant to help NADS study automated vehicles on rural roads

Thursday, September 19, 2019
The University of Iowa’s National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) received a $7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to study the safe deployment of automated vehicles in rural areas.

University of Iowa awarded $7 million from US DOT to test driverless technologies

Wednesday, September 18, 2019
The University of Iowa will put to use a $7.03 million grant it received from the U.S. Department of Transportation to test how automated driving systems safely can be introduced on the state’s roads.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Announces Automated Driving System Demonstration Grant Winners

Wednesday, September 18, 2019
U.S. Secretary of Transportation announced nearly $60 million in federal grant funding to eight projects in seven states to test the safe integration of automated driving systems (ADS) on our nation’s roadways.

Iowa Engineer: Celebrating 20 years of driver safety research

Monday, September 9, 2019
University of Iowa College of Engineering magazine

9 signs you could be a distracted driver

Wednesday, April 24, 2019
This Gazette article asks a big question "Are you a distracted driver?" Learn what distracted driving really means and how you can take the steps to be a more aware and less distracted driver.

Art, science collide in dance

Wednesday, April 10, 2019
University of Iowa Dance Department, in collaboration with the National Advanced Driving Simulator, presents There Are No Accidents: Crash Dance, which explores the art and science to human error in a technology-programmed world.

Iowa Senate approves autonomous vehicle regulations

Friday, April 5, 2019
The Iowa Senate has approved legislation that would govern how autonomous vehicles operate in the state.

Tractor simulator studies farm safety

Thursday, March 7, 2019
Farming is the most dangerous domestic job in the United States, nearly a hundred agricultural workers are injured every day. In particular, operating large, heavy machines can hurt or kill farmers but researchers at the University of Iowa are trying to learn more to save lives.

Steering Iowa toward automated vehicles

Friday, March 1, 2019
This Gazette article explores the future of automated vehicles in rural states like Iowa and gives a brief overview of the new research being done in Iowa by researchers at the Driving Safety Research Institute.

Talking to teens can lead to safer driving

Saturday, February 9, 2019
A study from the University of Iowa National Advanced Driving Simulator finds that the use of video monitoring technology combined with parents talking to their teens about safe driving motivates young drivers to be safer.

Knowing your car's assisted driving limits

Tuesday, October 30, 2018
A report released by AAA with information given from researchers by a team at the University of Iowa's National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) shows advanced driver assistance systems have the ability to prevent 2.7 million crashes if installed on all vehicles, but researchers are finding those numbers can only be achieved if drivers are well-educated on their systems.

See all archived news articles

Sunday, January 1, 2017
Looking for past news articles? All of the University of Iowa Driving Safety Research Institute's archived news articles are available here.

Past findings in NADS cannabis research from 2015

Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Read archived news articles of some of our past research findings in cannabis-impaired driving.
Automated shuttle bus on rural Iowa road

ADS for Rural America

Learn more about our Automated Driving Systems (ADS) for Rural America project, which drove a partially-automated shuttle bus through Iowa City, Hills, Riverside, and Kalona, Iowa. 

ADS for Rural America
NADS-1 bay, 3D globe image

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