CONTACT: GARY GALLUZZO
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0009; fax (319) 384-0024
UI awarded contract to develop, test automotive crash avoidance systems
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Public Policy Center and the
UI College of Engineering Center for Computer-Aided Design (CCAD) have
received an 18-month, $375,000 U.S. Department of Transportation contract
to design and evaluate different types of rear-end collision avoidance
displays. The project will help guide public policy in terms of safety
for the design and operation of such warning systems.
Daniel McGehee, a crash safety and human factors researcher and director
of human factors research at the Public Policy Center, will direct the
project along with John Lee, associate professor of industrial engineering
and a human factors expert.
McGehee notes that approximately 25 percent of all vehicular collisions
currently result in rear-end crashes. "The project will consider both
how collision-avoidance information is best presented to drivers and the
equally important inner workings of the sensor and computer algorithms
that tell the system how to present crash warning information," McGehee
says. The research results will help automotive safety engineers design
more effective rear-end collision avoidance systems.
McGehee and Lee will develop prototype in-vehicle auditory and visual
displays and test the systems on the Iowa Driving Simulator. The present
configuration of the Iowa Driving Simulator was completed in 1994 and is
valued at about $13 million. Located in the UI College of Engineering,
it is one of the most advanced driving simulators in the world. The simulator
dome, enclosing a fully functional car cab, sits atop a large hexapod-shaped
motion system that moves as drivers maneuver through computer-generated
terrain. The roadway and terrain are projected around drivers inside the
dome, giving them the feeling that they are part of the environment. "The
Iowa Driving Simulator allows us to put drivers into circumstances too
dangerous to test on the road," McGehee says.