HumanFIRST Driving Simulation Educational Development

Principal Investigator:

Nichole Morris, Research Associate, Mechanical Engineering


Project Summary:

The HumanFIRST Laboratory was awarded a grant through the University of Minnesota Office of the Vice President for Research to match funds to completely overhaul the laboratory's driving simulators. The installation of the new simulators was scheduled to take place at the end of 2017. This upgrade, which includes large touchscreen displays in the immersive simulators' cockpit, allows the laboratory to conduct innovative research in the fields of connected vehicles, in-vehicle technologies, and automated vehicles. Additionally, the visibility of the laboratory's increase in capabilities is expected to increase an already frequent demand for educational and training partnerships (particularly around high-risk behaviors, such as distraction and speeding) with both government and private groups. In addition to the value of simulator demonstrations in regards to roadway safety education and knowledge dissemination to the greater community, these partnerships often foster future opportunities for research partnerships and funding. While many of the previously built simulated scenarios are compatible with the new simulator, the new in-vehicle displays and automated capabilities are not presentable without investment to create content that highlights the laboratory's capabilities. The creation of this new content is expected to allow new funding opportunities and will facilitate the research team to share knowledge through educational and training opportunities for the regional community. This project aims to leverage the investment in the new simulator and propel the laboratory's capabilities through creation of three distinct simulated demonstrations focused on control hand-offs with automated vehicles, distracted driving via non-driving-related, in-vehicle technologies, and speeding in pedestrian-populated areas. These topics are key research focus areas for the Roadway Safety Institute and are core focus areas for the HumanFIRST Laboratory and its funding stakeholders.


Project Details: