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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 5, 2005

Public To Learn About Driving Simulator And Driving Safety

During the month of August, visitors and shoppers at the Coral Ridge Mall in Coralville will have an opportunity to visit a kiosk where they will learn how the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) is making driving safer.

Visitors to the display will find a miniature version of the simulator that they can drive along simulated roadways to experience some of the driving scenarios created for use in NADS research. They will also be able to view a working model of a portion of the NADS motion system to see how the NADS provides motion feedback to the driver.

A continuous loop video will describe some of the safety research conducted at the NADS, provide a glimpse of the simulator's features that make it so unique and include interviews with volunteer NADS study participants talking about their research experiences. Staff will be on site to take the names and contact information of individuals who want to volunteer to participate in future NADS research. (Individuals may also volunteer online at www.nads-sc.uiowa.edu or by calling the driving participant hotline at 319-335-4719.)

NADS administrators say that the Coral Ridge kiosk was inspired by UI President David J. Skorton's announcement of the Year of Public Engagement -- a university-wide effort to increase interaction with the public and public issues at local, state, national and international levels during the 2005-2006 academic year. The NADS engages the public to participate in research aimed at reducing the number of deaths on U.S. roadways.

Currently in its third year of operation, the NADS has been used by a variety of public and private research groups, including, but not limited to, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Food and Drug Administration, National Science Foundation, Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers, Crash Avoidance Metric Partnership and various pharmaceutical companies. Research projects are addressing important safety issues such as: whether wireless phone usage while driving impairs driving performance; how new stability systems can help drivers maintain control of their vehicles in situations where loss of control is imminent; and how to improve safety for young drivers while they gain driving experience.

The NADS is the most sophisticated research-oriented driving simulator in the world. It was built to conduct research that will ultimately lead to reductions in the number of traffic-related deaths, injuries and incidents of property loss on the nation's highways. The NADS, located at the University of Iowa's Oakdale Research Park, is a national shared-use facility owned by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the Department of Transportation and operated by the University of Iowa.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009, gary-galluzzo@uiowa.edu