Educating for Safety
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. Led by the University of Iowa and directed by Dawn Marshall, research manager at DSRI, SAFER-SIM comprises a multi-disciplinary team of researchers across an additional four sites: University of Massachusetts–Amherst, University of Central Florida, University of Wisconsin–Madison, and University of Puerto Rico–Mayagüez.

SAFER-SIM supports research from a range of disciplines and state-of-the-art driving, bicycling, and pedestrian simulators and microsimulation to study interactions among road users, roadway infrastructure, and new vehicle technologies.

With the SAFER-SIM grant period ending in September 2024, research projects are now being wrapped up, final reports are being submitted, and webinars are being held to summarize project findings. Webinar recordings can be found on the SAFER-SIM YouTube channel.

By the numbers

Graphic with circles that say 117 students, 58 principle investigators, 22 industry collaborators.

Celebrating 10 years of achievements

A graphic that overviews projects, funding, and STEM outreach for Safer-SIM, including 151 total projects, 2 grants totaling over 12 million dollars, and 17,554 K-12 students reached


A word cloud in the shape of a car made up of different organizations that partner with SAFER-SIM, such as the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Aisin, FHWA, Mobileye, NHTSA, City of Orlando, and many more

A robotic vehicle platform for education and outreach

A robotic car and a computer screen showing how the car backs up

Over the past three years, four undergraduate students and six high school interns worked to develop a 1/10th scale robotic vehicle to be used for STEM outreach and education. The vehicle uses Raspberry Pi architecture, a Python code base, and a fish-eye camera to successfully back up autonomously with a trailer between two lane lines more than half the time. The last year of this project was funded by SAFER-SIM in partnership with Workplace Learning Connection.

This article originally appeared in the 2023 DSRI Year in Review.