Driving Safety Research Institute 2023 Year in Review

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Driving Safety Research Institute 2023 A Year in Review

Our Impact Impact. This is a term that has several contexts in automotive safety. While one definition is the study of the physical forces around a crash, ours is more fundamental to how our research, science, and engineering impact driving safety in the U.S. and globally. Sporting a new name, the Driving Safety Research Institute (DSRI) strives to lead with first-in-the-world innovation. The National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) has always been a major part of our work. And DSRI will still house the NADS, along with many other interdisciplinary ventures, including a fleet of specialty research vehicles that operate on the unique rural roads so ubiquitous in Iowa. The creation of DSRI was based on the impact we have made in driving safety that goes beyond our simulation expertise. One of the most innovative and impactful projects we have had the last several years is the ADS for Rural America project that concluded its data collection this year. We demonstrated what many have said is not possible—to have a highly automated vehicle operate on roads without paint markings and/or on gravel. This project exemplifies the can-do attitude our incredible staff has at DSRI.

Other projects that demonstrate our impact are ones that examine the interaction between human drivers and automated vehicles. Understanding the core communication between such interactions is key in this NHTSAsponsored project. Our continued work in educating drivers on the many new technologies also remains a key area of ours. Work in cannabis and its complex issues in impairment continues to make an impact with our work being presented at international automotive medicine conferences. Finally, our students have multiple positive impacts as they help carry us into the future, thrive, and make a difference. Recent PhD student Dr. Emily Shull has joined the NHTSA as a research engineer; Dr. Christopher Rundes is now a post-doctoral fellow at the Ohio State University; and Dr. Thomas Burt plans to join the University of Toronto as a postdoc. Impact. That is what we strive for and will continue to strive for on our journey to provide the most safe, equitable, and efficient driving safety possible. We hope you enjoy the pages ahead!

Daniel V. McGehee Director, Driving Safety Research Institute Associate Professor Industrial & Systems Engineering Emergency Medicine Public Health Public Policy

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Contents Driving Safety Research Institute (DSRI): New Name, Same Mission ............................................ 4 Our International Impact (FY23) .............................................................................................................. 6 Celebrating 10 Years of SAFER-SIM ......................................................................................................... 8 Data Available for Analysis from Automated Transit on Rural Roadways ...................................... 12 Two Simulators, One Simulation ............................................................................................................. 16 The ADAS Experts ....................................................................................................................................... 18 Driver Monitoring Systems (DMS) for Cannabis and Alcohol Detection ..................................... 22 A Plethora of Driver Monitoring System (DMS) Data ........................................................................ 25 miniSim .......................................................................................................................................................... 26 More Updates to Our Virtual Worlds .................................................................................................... 28 A Step Back to 1992 ..................................................................................................................................... 30 News Briefs ................................................................................................................................................... 32 Our Partners ................................................................................................................................................ 34

CONTACT US dsri-contacts@uiowa.edu

DSRI.UIOWA.EDU Follow us on:

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Driving Safety Research Institute (DSRI) New name, same mission This past year, the University of Iowa National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) research center officially became known as the University of Iowa Driving Safety Research Institute (DSRI). This new name better reflects our expertise in both driving simulation and on-road driving research. “We’ve been doing on-road research for more than 15 years, and we collaborate with virtually every college on campus, so it’s time we carry a name that better represents our interdisciplinary capabilities and broader mission of safer roads for all,” said Dan McGehee, director of DSRI. The National Advanced Driving Simulator name will continue to be the name of the facility’s crown-jewel simulator, the “NADS-1 simulator,” but it is one piece of the larger institute. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) continues to own the NADS-1 simulator itself, while the University of Iowa takes responsibility for its operation and maintenance. The current facility opened in 2001 while its predecessor, the Iowa Driving Simulator, was established in 1989—giving the University of Iowa more than three decades of driving safety research expertise. The current facility also houses a suite of smaller simulators and a fleet of five on-road research vehicles. Their miniSim program produces and sells custom driving simulators to organizations around the world. Throughout its history, its research has been entirely self-funded through competitive contracts with the government, industry, and foundations. “We hope this new name will also help expand access to funding opportunities by clearing up any misperceptions that we only do simulation,” added McGehee.

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Mission Make our roads safer by researching the connection between humans and vehicles

Research We conduct research with simulators and on-road vehicles. Funded by government and industry partners, our expertise includes: • • • • • • • • • •

Human factors Distracted driving Drowsy driving Drugged driving Connected and automated vehicles Mobility At-risk populations (older and novice drivers) Safety and crash data analysis Simulation science Crash biomechanics

Simulators National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS-1): One of the world’s largest and most realistic driving simulators NADS-2: A full cab simulator with 135 degrees field of view and motion base, can be connected virtually to the NADS-1 miniSim™: A customizable PC-based portable simulator available for purchase

On-Road Vehicles • • • • •

Ford Transit shuttle bus Tesla Model S75D Lincoln MKZ Volvo XC90 Toyota Camry XLE

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Our International Impact (FY23) Global partners and collaborations since July 2022

Every year, we work with teams around the globe. Here’s a snapshot of our international activities and partnerships from the past year.


miniSimTM clients Our partners outside the United States who own a miniSim: •



• • •



• • •

American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates General Motors, Herzliya Pituah, Israel Hasselt University, Belgium Marche Polytechnic University, Ancona, Italy Black Sesame Technologies Co., Shanghai, China Transport Canada, Ottawa, Canada University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada

United States

Domestic events with large international presence Our team had committee involvement or gave presentations at: • • • •

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ITS World Congress Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting TRB Automated Road Transportation Symposium (ARTS) Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (AAAM) Annual Conference

Collaborations and partnerships In the past year we’ve had project partners or collaborations with groups from: Australia • Seeing Machines • Swinburne University of Technology Canada: • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto Estonia: • University of Tartu

Germany • Technical University of Dresden • BMW Mexico: • Autonomous University of Querétaro Sweden: • Tobii





France I Belgium ta ly Portugal

United Arab Emirates











We are also active partners in establishing international guidelines for ADS safety as part of the following groups (with multiple countries): • Trilateral Commission of Human Factors and ADS • Human Factors in International Regulations for ADS • Economic Commission for Europe Global Forum for Road Traffic Safety

Conferences We’ve presented at, helped organize, or submitted papers to international conferences held in: France • Driving Simulation Conference Japan • Enhanced Safety of Vehicles Conference • FAST-zero: Future Active Safety Technology toward zero traffic accidents The Netherlands • International Council on Alcohol, Drugs, and Traffic Safety Conference Portugal • Transport Research Arena Conference Sweden • International Conference on Traffic and Transport Psychology


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Celebrating 10 Years of SAFER-SIM Educating for Safety

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, SAFERSIM 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.

Dawn Marshall, SAFER-SIM director

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

By the Numbers 117



Principal investigators


Industry collaborators


Celebrating 10 Years of Achievements Projects 13



years of funding


grants totaling $12,677,200 in funding

total STEM events


year performance period


K–12 students reached

symposia hosted total projects collaborative projects across consortium sites projects with AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

9 2

STEM Outreach 297



total individuals

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A Robotic Vehicle Platform for Education and Outreach SAFER-SIM Project Wrap-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 Rasberry 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.

“Doing this with a trailer in reverse made it much more complicated,” explained Chris Schwarz, director of the project. “We had to figure out the ‘state information’ (angle of steering, speed, and the angle of the hitch) in order to predict what the vehicle will do in the future. So we had to use image processing to estimate the hitch angle using a piece of red tape to measure that angle. Then we combined the white lane lines AND the red tape to figure out how the vehicle needed to behave.” Watch the SAFER-SIM webinar on this project on the SAFER-SIM YouTube Channel: dsri.uiowa.edu/safer-sim

SAFER-SIM Student Spotlight: Emily Shull, PhD Emily Shull, former graduate research assistant at the Driving Safety Research Institute, was awarded the 2023 UTC Student of the Year Award by the U.S. Department of Transportation at the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) Annual Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C. Shull was also awarded the SAFER-SIM Excellence Award. While at DSRI, Shull’s primary research interest was understanding how the transition of control can be effectively facilitated from partial automation back to the driver. Shull graduated with her PhD in industrial and systems engineering in the spring of 2023. She has since begun her professional career as a general engineer at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the Office of Vehicle Crash Avoidance and Electronics Controls Research, where she works on an interdisciplinary team of scientists focusing on crash avoidance, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), and other intelligent vehicle technologies. Watch her SAFER-SIM webinar, “The Gap Effect in Conditionally Automated Driving,” at dsri.uiowa.edu/safer-sim.

“Emily Shull is one of the most dedicated and qualified students I’ve had the pleasure to work with. I have no doubt that Emily will become a leader in science and engineering and contribute substantially to the future of automotive human factors.” —John Gaspar, director of human factors research

K–12 STEM outreach has played an important role in SAFER-SIM’s mission and work throughout its 10 years.

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Data Available for Analysis from Automated Transit on Rural Roadways The Automated Driving Systems (ADS) for Rural America project sought to collect data on the unique needs of operating an ADS vehicle in rural environments, while working toward solutions that improve safety and mobility. Data collection is now complete on this U.S. DOT-funded demonstration project that tested the use of high-speed ADS on rural roadways. Our ADS Transit vehicle was driven and tested under automation on rural roadways in Iowa at speeds up to 65 mph. Mobility-impaired riders were recruited from local communities to ride as passengers and experience the automation on a variety of road types, including gravel and unmarked rural roads.

Data Portal The data is publicly available for analysis at our data portal:

data.ADSforRuralAmerica.uiowa.edu Raw data has been organized for ease of use and can be filtered using various criteria, including project phase, weather conditions, road type, and more. Types of available data include: • • • • • •

Automation performance data, documenting challenges and sensor performance, takeovers, safety critical events, encounters with vulnerable road users, etc. Weather and road conditions: grip, surface state, surface layer thickness, surface temperature, air temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed and direction Interactive map of every drive with co-pilot flags of notable occurrences and encounters Raw video data from the safety driver to examine kinematics/performance/workload Questionnaire data from the riders regarding trust and acceptance Physiological data from riders and safety driver regarding stress/anxiety

The data portal offers tiered levels of access with summary data being available to everyone. Rider data is anonymized in the summary data to protect privacy. Higher levels of access to data are available with registration and data usage agreements. 12 | dsri.uiowa.edu

Major Findings: Nine Things to Know Based on our demonstration and findings, our transportation system and society are not ready for the deployment of rural ADS vehicles without a safety driver. While the technology has shown its potential, it’s not ready for prime time. The public has shown an increase in their trust and acceptance of these technologies when paired with a well-trained safety driver. We believe that testing with safety drivers needs to continue as we expand the capabilities of the automation. Our latest webinar, titled, “Nine Things to Know When Testing AVs on Rural Roads,” included video examples and summarized each of the following takeaways: 1.


Sensor range turning onto a high-speed road (55+ mph) can be an issue. Sensors may not see far enough, or stationary objects may hide oncoming traffic from LiDAR view. The following screenshot shows the Transit attempting to turn left from a stop onto a 55 mph highway (where cross traffic does not stop). The blue lines indicate LiDAR “shadows” formed by stationary objects such as signs. One of the shadows corresponds with the angle of traffic approaching from the left.


Particulates in the air (e.g., dust clouds or spray from water sprinklers) can sometimes be recognized as obstacles. The screenshot to the right shows the LiDAR picking up dust from another vehicle. In this instance, the Transit swerved slightly to the right in an attempt to avoid this perceived obstacle.


dust cloud


Pedestrian detection and categorization by the automation software is not always accurate.



At four-way stops, the ADS vehicle can be slow to react or may slowly creep forward, making it difficult for other drivers to predict its behavior.


The ADS vehicle cannot pass or travel into an oncoming lane, so it follows and stays behind farm equipment and other slow-moving vehicles.



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Horse and buggies are recognized as vehicles, but the automation doesn’t adjust as humans often would, for example, to slow down or give them more space.


The automation doesn’t slow down or adapt to poor weather/environmental conditions or blind hills and curves. Adjustments for blind hills and curves were made to the highdefinition (HD) map to slow the vehicle at those locations. For poor weather conditions, the safety driver took over control when necessary.



For our vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) “school bus” encounters, cellular signal loss can be an issue affecting V2V connectivity, especially in remote areas. The screenshot to the right shows V2V testing with another outfitted research vehicle acting as a school bus.


On narrow gravel roads with loose shoulders, humans typically drive closer to the center of the road and then move to the right when approaching another vehicle or blind hill/curve. This driving behavior was difficult to mimic using the automation software. The default lane of travel was moved to the left by 18 inches and a “nudge” feature added to move the vehicle back to the right when another vehicle was approaching. However, this feature didn’t always move the vehicle over far enough or early enough to the right. The image below shows the testing of this feature; in this case, the automation was disabled to safely pass by this farm implement.



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V2V testing

Student Involvement: Max Miller

Webinars Learn more about our project and watch any of our five webinars at:

ADSforRuralAmerica.uiowa.edu Webinar topics: 1. Safety Management Plan 2. Vehicle Hardware and Software 3. Rider and Safety Driver Experience 4. Data Portal 5. 9 Things to Know When Testing AVs on Rural Roads

Graduate student Max Miller is exploring the ADS for Rural America data as part of his graduate studies. After receiving his MS in industrial engineering from the University of Iowa this past year, Miller is now a PhD student and graduate research assistant. Currently, Miller’s research is focused on data-driven diagnostics and abnormality detection of automated vehicles, using data from our ADS for Rural America project. His prior research was in human factors, focusing on statistical modeling of visually impaired drivers to assess attention demand. In addition to DSRI and the Applied Cognitive Engineering (ACE) lab, Miller is affiliated with the Laboratory for IoT-Enabled Data Analytics and System Informatics, led by Professor Chao Wang.

Members of the University of Iowa ADS for Rural America team, from left to right: Greg Wagner, Alec La Velle, Stephen Cable, Cheryl Roe, Omar Ahmad, Cher Carney, Dan McGehee, Noah Rothermel, and Kristine Roggentien. Not pictured: Kate Wolniak-Bujakowska

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Two Simulators, One Simulation Connecting multiple human drivers in the same virtual world Sponsored by NHTSA In a multi-year project to connect the NADS-1 and NADS-2 simulators into the same virtual environment, the DSRI team has been upgrading 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. On the software side, software engineers Christian Bauer and Oscar Hernandez-Murcia have been updating the software infrastructure to sync up the miniSim and NADS-1 systems, which will allow multiple drivers to interact in the same simulation. Testing has also focused on using the Unreal Engine for graphics rendering. Chris Schwarz, director of engineering and modeling research, is leading the effort to create the technology road map and identify necessary upgrades to legacy hardware and software that will keep NADS-1 up to date and improve interoperability between NADS-1 and miniSim as well as between miniSims. All of these upgrades will support an upcoming study looking at roadway interactions between human-driven vehicles and varying levels of automated vehicles. The study is funded by NHTSA and titled Human Interactions with Driving Automation Systems (HIDAS). This study will have a driver in each simulator interacting with one another, each with a different level of automation (manual, partial, or high), and those combinations will vary to see how they interact in that shared virtual space. The types of planned interactions will be informed by common problem scenarios for automated vehicles identified through simulation-based testing and collected into scenario databases. “It’s something that’s never been done, to understand the interactions that happen between traffic when you get different levels of automation and the effect on surrounding drivers. To do that, we need to have multiple people drive in the same virtual space,” explained John Gaspar, director of human factors research.

Christian Bauer

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Oscar HernandezMurcia

John Gaspar

Chris Schwarz sits in the new NADS-2 simulator, now connected virtually to the NADS-1. The NADS-2 has a full cab and motion base.

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ADAS Experts

Our investigators have been working on a series of studies analyzing advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) technology and consumer understanding of ADAS features. ADAS features monitor the driving environment and may warn the driver of potential collisions (e.g., blind spot warning), provide intervention (e.g., automated emergency braking), or provide driving control assistance (e.g., lane centering assist).

Mapping Driver Understanding of ADAS Technology Sponsored by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and SAFER-SIM UTC Survey results were collected from more than 2,500 drivers to analyze road users’ understanding of ADAS features. The survey assessed users on their understanding of adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist, and it identified their confidence levels in understanding these systems. When their understanding was compared to their confidence, researchers say you want people whose confidence matches their understanding (i.e., high confidence with strong knowledge, or low confidence with weak knowledge). “Those who realize they have a weak understanding of ADAS and also lack confidence in their understanding, but who want to use this technology, may be more willing to seek out educational material,” explained Justin Mason, assistant research scientist. “However, those with high confidence but weak knowledge may be more prone to misusing the technology.” Notably, the strong understanding group more often learned about ADAS via trial and error whereas the weak understanding group learned about ADAS via the owner’s manual. The findings from this project may help direct educational approaches in the future. For more details, watch the SAFER-SIM webinar at dsri.uiowa.edu/ safer-sim or read the final report at bit.ly/46OEYtr.


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Justin Mason

Consumer Education for ADAS Sponsored by Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) In a recently completed study, investigators looked at the impact of over-the-air (OTA) updates on drivers’ understanding of ADAS features and their performance. Part 1 of the study: In the NADS-1 simulator, OTA updates were made to the vehicle’s system without any training to the drivers. This was meant to identify gaps in their understanding. What they found: A more complicated OTA update that changed the driver’s role (i.e., increased automation) caused larger gaps in understanding, making it difficult for drivers to safely use the system. The addition of an automatic braking system resulted in smaller gaps in understanding.

Part 2: The results from Part 1 were used to design educational materials that were then tested in this second part of the study. What they found: The educational material, which included information about the driver’s responsibility, was helpful when the system update was complicated. However, if the system update was simple, the education may actually decrease drivers’ confidence in their own understanding.

Cher Carney

Student Involvement: Joy (Jimin) Kim Graduate student Joy Kim worked on the Toyota consumer education project, collecting data and analyzing how people’s mental models translate from system to system. For example, how does training on adaptive cruise control in one vehicle translate when the driver uses a different vehicle? Kim is a PhD student in the industrial and systems engineering department. Her main research interest includes the safety concern surrounding the transfer of learning and knowledge gaps around new vehicle technologies. As part of her dissertation, she is continuing a deeper investigation into how experience and existing knowledge of a vehicle’s system impacts people’s understanding of ADAS after an over-the-air update.

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The ADAS experts continued... Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) Education and Outreach As part of the Behavioral Traffic Safety Cooperative Research Program (BTSCRP) administered by the National Academies, DSRI researchers are documenting and evaluating the state of training and education for ADAS features. Ultimately, the team’s findings will inform institutions, agencies, and practitioners responsible for driver education and training about tools, strategies, and models that can be used to provide consumers and other populations with a better understanding of ADAS technologies. Phase 1 of the project involves collecting information about existing ADAS training or educational materials and then evaluating the material content and effectiveness. Specifically, the team will identify (1) gaps and errors in those materials, (2) the methods of delivery, and (3) populations in need of ADAS education and training.

Cheryl Roe

Phase 2, which is slated to begin in 2024, will include synthesizing the information identified in Phase 1, identifying the characteristics of effective methods of delivering ADAS training and educational materials to target populations, and creating deliverables that include a practitioners guide and webinar for practitioners, such as Department of Motor Vehicle staff.

Student Involvement: Sabrina Vlk Sabrina Vlk is an undergraduate mechanical engineering student and research assistant for DSRI. She has assisted with the Iowa DOT study concerning ADAS and crash/near-crash scenarios (page 21) by helping the research team refine their motorist interview guide and protocol as well as correcting interview transcripts. Previous projects Vlk has worked on include Toyota’s Consumer Education studies (page 19), as well as NHTSA’s Temporal Components of Warnings study from 2022. Her work on this project consisted of developing study protocols, testing simulated drives in the NADS-1, briefing and debriefing participants, administering cognitive and mental model assessments, calibrating eye tracking software, and recording data from the control room.

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Crashes and Near-Crashes Involving ADAS Vehicles Sponsored by the Iowa DOT and Colorado DOT DSRI researchers are studying the role that ADAS features play in crashes or near-crash situations—including how ADAS systems may prevent or reduce the severity of crashes. Motorists involved in a crash or near-crash incident while driving a vehicle they believed was equipped with ADAS features complete an online survey about their experience, and of those, some are interviewed. The research team is also surveying or interviewing officers who complete crash reports. “We’re looking to learn more about people’s experiences with the technology, as well as their perceptions and understanding of the features,” explained Michelle Reyes, senior research associate. “From officers, we are hoping to learn whether and how they consider potential ADAS involvement while completing a crash investigation.” The study’s findings will inform recommendations for various stakeholders, including state departments of transportation, vehicle manufacturers, crash reporting agencies, and law enforcement.

Adaptive cruise control on DSRI’s Volvo XC90

Michelle Reyes

Michelle Reyes and Cheryl Roe demonstrate and explain the ADAS features in DSRI’s Volvo XC90 research vehicle.

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Driver Monitoring Systems (DMS) for Cannabis and Alcohol Detection 2023 was a year of DMS analyses

Seeing Machines DMS with Colorado Anschutz Medical As part of a collaborative project among DSRI, the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Swinburne University (Australia), and Seeing Machines, the DSRI team integrated the DMS developed by Seeing Machines into a miniSim and installed it at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Data is now being collected from cannabis users prior to and after acute administration of cannabis. The DMS data will be examined to identify ocular measures or eye behaviors that are indicative of impairment. They are looking at what signals allow us to identify who is acutely under the influence of cannabis and whether signals of acute use are consistent between occasional and frequent users.

Tim Brown

Alcohol Detection Sponsored by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), with partner Seeing Machines In a recent study with IIHS, the team is looking at the ability of DMS vision sensors to identify alcohol impairment while driving. Data collection wrapped up in late 2023, and data is being analyzed. “This is really a first look at the feasibility of vision-based sensors to differentiate alcohol in driving,” said Tim Brown, director of drugged driving research. The team is looking at how these visual signals change over the duration of alcohol being in the system following drinking and how that affects driving performance. The primary focus is on visual signals as they relate to blood alcohol content.

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Dawn Marshall and Tim Brown demonstrate the simulator setup for the alcohol detection study.

Left: The driver as seen by the DMS. The green vector here shows where the driver is looking. Right: Participants were asked to engage in a divided attention task involving orange arrows during their drives. The arrow would appear in their peripheral vision, and participants would press a button when it pointed left or right. In this image, the participant would be expected to not respond.

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Student Involvement: Drugged Driving Research

Cole Kruse Cole Kruse has been studying the effects of cannabis and alcohol on highspeed interstate driving performance and practices by taking a deeper dive into past study data. He analyzed lane position and time spent below the speed limit and found that even if subjects are driving slower, it doesn’t mean they’re driving safer. Despite drivers’ perceived ability to safely react while traveling at a steadily slower speed, the effects of cannabis still play a significant part in one’s driving control. Drivers displayed difficulty staying within lanes and on the road, creating potentially dangerous conditions in traffic on high-speed interstates. Kruse’s findings are summarized in a SAFER-SIM webinar titled “Exploring Impaired Driving” at dsri.uiowa.edu/safer-sim and in an abstract accepted to the Transportation Research Board 2024 Annual Meeting. Kruse is a senior informatics major at the University of Iowa with a focus on public health. The analysis was funded by SAFER-SIM and done in partnership with Grinnell College.

Tommy Rogers Tommy Rogers was a high school intern this past summer at DSRI, who is now a senior at Liberty High School in the Iowa City area. Rogers looked at improving the quality of data from DMS. To function well, DMS systems need to be able to monitor drivers with a broad range of face shapes and skin tones in varying lighting conditions. Rogers developed a process to improve the quality of images of face shapes and skin tones, which helped the analysis of these variables on DMS data. DSRI offers internships to high school students through the local Workplace Learning Connection and Kirkwood Community College.

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A Plethora of Driver Monitoring System (DMS) Data Sponsored by NHTSA, with partner Westat 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. This new uniform dataset can be applied to future studies and expanded upon as new DMS data becomes available. “It will be a valuable resource for us that will continue to evolve as we add more data sets and analyses in the future,” said Chris Schwarz, director of engineering and modeling research. DMSs can use camera-based measures that analyze eye movement, facial measures, and head position; biological-based measures (such as respiration or heart rate variability); or vehicle-based measures (such as steering behavior or lane position). In the analysis of

these six studies, the team looked at which sensors were the most useful in detecting impairment. “Vehicle-based sensors become much less useful as soon as you turn on automation because at that point you stop getting any information about the driver,” explained Schwarz. “So these newer measures like gaze location become more valuable as a measurement tool.” A data collection study will be run in the NADS-1 simulator in 2024 as part of this work. The team is looking to understand how these DMSs are being used, what their limitations are, and how to differentiate between types of impairment (e.g., distraction alone versus distraction with drowsiness).

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Exciting Features Coming Soon for miniSim Users A few major upgrades to the miniSim system are in the works and will be available soon to miniSim users: 1.

Enhanced rendering capabilities using Unreal Engine, a game engine that will provide more true-tolife rendering of our virtual environments. Advanced light and surface interactions such as reflections, highlights, and shadows will be possible, along with improvements to particulate effects such as rain, snow, fog, and smoke.

2. Connected simulation: Multiple drivers using connected miniSims will be able to interact in the same virtual environment. 3. New capability to customize instrument panels and a new heavy truck instrument panel with digital speedometer

A newly designed heavy truck cab for the University of Toronto was delivered in October 2023, pictured here. This is a heavy truck quarter cab with a steering wheel and column from a real Class 8 Peterbilt cab, and it features a motion base, truck seat, and a new dashboard design. This is our first truck miniSim with both manual and automatic transmission options, and it supports DSRI AutoDriver (our vehicle automation software), including adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist.

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New Custom Half Cab The American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates recently received this custom halfcab simulator constructed from a low-mileage Hyundai Sonata body with the complete powertrain and suspension systems removed. Pictured below during the build process, the simulator will have a front cylindrical screen of 166 degrees horizontal field of view and four projectors. The cab features a DSRI-developed infotainment system, fully operational driver controls (steering, turn signals, etc.), and creature comforts including power seats and climate control. It also features DSRI AutoDriver (our vehicle automation software), which includes adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist.

Student Involvement: Kenneth Reichert University of Iowa mechanical engineering student (and SAE Baja team member) Kenneth Reichert has worked on the build alongside miniSim team members in the construction of this cab. Reichert removed the dashboard and interior trim in order to access the wiring harness and install instrumentation. He used the vehicle’s technical documentation to identify the needed circuits to integrate with the miniSim software, such as turn signals and accelerator pedal, and created numerous cable assemblies in the process. He installed three video cameras for the video recording system and designed a complex 3D part to cradle the new LCD display installed where the old gauge cluster was located. Changes were made to the audio system so that the sounds generated by the miniSim software and infotainment system can be presented to the driver, including adding a subwoofer and two tactile transducers to produce low-frequency sound and vibration experienced in a real car.

Reichert describes the inner workings and wiring used in the new simulator cab. The engine of the original vehicle is completely removed and replaced with simulator hardware.

Reichert points out the tactile transducer used to provide vibration to the cab for a more realistic driving experience.

Reichert holds the original Sonata gauge cluster in his right hand, with a new digital gauge cluster in his left hand.

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More Updates to Our Virtual Worlds Unreal Engine Our team is working on converting the elements of our virtual environments to be compatible with Unreal Engine. Shown below is a birds-eye view of one of our tile environments in Unreal Engine.

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Diverging Diamond Interchanges Diverging diamond interchanges are popping up across the country, including in our city near DSRI. So two of our team members—visiting scholar Stefan Plaettner and engineering coordinator Shawn Allen—created a simulated diverging diamond interchange to be used in Unreal Engine (screenshots shown below).

Railroad Crossings Two types of railroad gate crossings are now available to add to your simulation on miniSim.

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A Step Back to 1992 What were YOU doing in 1992? The University of Iowa had just been selected to house the new National Advanced Driving Simulator. Some of our (still current) staff members were preparing to help build what was at the time the largest and most advanced driving simulator in the world. The start of a news article from the local Iowa City Press-Citizen is shown below announcing the win with a rendering of the future simulator. Compare that to what it looks like today. The NADS-1 simulator began operation in 2002.

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The NADS-1 opens and is operational. Its first formal study is on tire failure and loss of control.

The Iowa Driving Simulator is operational, the first in the nation.

1992 NHTSA selects the University of Iowa (UI) to house the new National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS).

1994 The first automated driving simulations in the world are done at the UI.

1999 UI begins its first drugged driving study.



The first automated vehicle is added to the NADS fleet.

The NADS-2 simulator is operational.

2005 NADS builds a portable simulator, eventually leading to the creation of the miniSim program.

2011 The first on-road vehicle is purchased for NADS research.

2023 The NADS facility is renamed the University of Iowa Driving Safety Research Institute.

For more on the history and development of the NADS-1 simulator, see: “The Long and Winding Road: 25 Years of the National Advanced Driving Simulator” published in IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications: bit.ly/3NcLiUF

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News Briefs Steve Cable Awarded University’s Outstanding Staff Award Steve Cable, senior systems administrator at DSRI, was awarded the 2023 University of Iowa Outstanding Staff Award. Cable was honored because of his adept knowledge of advanced computing architecture and systems, his ability to write and integrate advanced software, and his dedication as a supervisor and team member. Cable is the driving force behind the technical aspects of our ADS for Rural America project (see page 12). He wrote the custom safety driver, co-pilot, passenger, and integration software for this project and collaborated with the project team to create a data portal that provides the first-ofits-kind data for public use. Omar Ahmad, DSRI deputy director and ADS for Rural America project manager, said of Cable: “Steve is eager to learn and take on new challenges. With his innovation, we have

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established ourselves internationally as leaders for testing and researching the challenges of operating an automated vehicle on rural roadways.” In the past year, Cable has also designed and developed a customizable infotainment system and instrument cluster for the new NADS-2 simulator, which enables it to mimic the interface of any vehicle on the market. “It’s exciting because it enables us to research the next generation of vehicles and their human interfaces,” he said. Cable grew up in Ames, Iowa, and graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in computer science. He started working for the National Advanced Driving Simulator (now Driving Safety Research Institute) in 1998 as an undergraduate systems administrator.

DSRI Welcomed Fulbright Visiting Scholar Stefan Plaettner Stefan Plaettner worked at the Driving Safety Research Institute during the first half of 2023 as a visiting scholar. Plaettner is a mechanical engineering PhD student at the Technical University of Dresden working on his dissertation in simulator validation with a background in vehicle dynamics. At the Technical University of Dresden, Plaettner is now the research lead in the development of a tire-based driving simulator. His PhD topics focus on the impact of simulator software on driving simulator validity and the systematic evaluation process for driving simulator validity. While at DSRI, he completed a pilot study on perceived distances with different visual rendering parameters. The full study will be run in Dresden. He also gained experience as a research assistant in the control room of the NADS-1 (pictured) and wrote a literature review paper while here.

DSRI Hosts Public Open House The local public was invited to an open house at DSRI in October 2023 to celebrate our new name. We also wanted to let people experience automated driving technology by giving them demonstration rides in our highly automated Transit shuttle bus, the vehicle used in our ADS for Rural America project. Attendees got tours of our NADS-1 simulator and had the chance to drive a miniSim.

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Our Partners DSRI Advisory Board Members Linda Angell President and Principal Scientist Touchstone Evaluations, Inc.

Terry Johnson Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer University of Iowa

Ann Ricketts Division of Sponsored Programs University of Iowa

Stacy Balk National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

Gary Kay President Cognitive Research Corporation

Trent Victor Director of Safety Waymo

Tom Banta Vice President, Director Strategic Growth Iowa City Area Development Group

Scott Marler Director Iowa Department of Transportation

C.Y. David Yang Executive Director AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

Pujitha Gunaratne Senior Executive Engineer Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Center

Brian Philips Senior Research Psychologist NHTSA, Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center

University of Iowa Faculty Partners Ned Bowden College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Chemistry

Cara Hamann College of Public Health, Epidemiology Injury Prevention Research Center

Thomas Schnell College of Engineering Industrial and Systems Engineering

Carri Casteel College of Public Health Injury Prevention Research Center

Loreen Herwaldt Carver College of Medicine Internal Medicine

Gregory H. Shill College of Law Corporate Governance and Control

Venanzio Cichella College of Engineering Mechanical Engineering

Karin Hoth Carver College of Medicine Psychiatry

Steven Spears Graduate College School of Planning and Public Affairs

Alejandro Comellas Freymond Carver College of Medicine Internal Medicine

Joseph Kearney College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Computer Science

Ergun Uc Carver College of Medicine Neurology

Gary Milavetz College of Pharmacy Pharmacy Practice and Science

Shaun Vecera College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Psychological and Brain Sciences

Nicholas Mohr Carver College of Medicine Emergency Medicine

Chao Wang College of Engineering Industrial and Systems Engineering

Elizabeth O’Neal College of Public Health Community and Behavioral Health

Mark Wilkinson Carver College of Medicine Ophthalmology

Soura Dasgupta College of Engineering Electrical and Computer Engineering Jeffrey Dawson College of Public Health Biostatistics Gary Gaffney Carver College of Medicine Psychiatry Amanda Haes College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Chemistry

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Jodie Plumert College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Psychological and Brain Sciences

External Faculty Partners Grinnell College Ryan Miller Oregon State University David Hurwitz University of California, Irvine Federico Vaca University of Central Florida Mohamed Abdel-Aty Naveen Eluru Zhaomiao (Walter) Guo Samiul Hasan Amr Oloufa Omer Tatari Yina Wu Lishengsa Yue Mohamed Zaki

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Ashley Brooks-Russell Michael Kosnett University of Leeds Natasha Merat Richard Romano University of Massachusetts–Amherst Chengbo Ai Eleni Christofa Cole Fitzpatrick Michael Knodler Anuj Pradhan Shannon Roberts University of Puerto Rico–Mayagüez Carla López Alberto M. Figueroa Medina

Benjamin Colucci-Rios Didier Valdés University of Washington Linda Ng Boyle University of Wisconsin–Madison Madhav Chitturi John D. Lee Dan Negrut David Noyce Jon Riehl Kelvin R. Santiago Radu Serban Volpe National Transportation Systems Center Donald Fisher Yale University Barbara Banz

Additional External Partners and Sponsors AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Acclaro Research Solutions, Inc. Advanced Brain Monitoring Aisin Technical Center of America, Inc. American University of Sharjah A.T. Still University of Health Sciences Battelle Memorial Institute Behavioral Traffic Safety Cooperative Research Program Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. Charles River Associates Cognitive Research Corporation Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Colorado Department of Transportation Colorado State University Dunlap and Associates, Inc. Exponent Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers Federal Transit Administration Federal Highway Administration Florida Gulf Coast University General Motors Corporation Georgia Institute of Technology Hexagon | AutonomouStuff Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc. Iowa City Area Development Group Iowa Department of Transportation Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau

Iowa State University ISBRG Corp. Leidos, Inc. Lenstec, Inc. Loyola Marymount University Mandli Communications Marche Polytechnic University Massachusetts Department of Transportation Massachusetts Institute of Technology MetroPlan Orlando Michigan Technological University National Highway Traffic Safety Administration National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health National Institute on Drug Abuse NORC at the University of Chicago Oakland University Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology Purdue University San Jose State University State Farm Swinburne University of Technology Tongji University toXcel Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Center

University of California, Irvine Transport Canada University of Hartford University of Kansas University of New Hampshire University of Toronto University of Windsor U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Homeland Security Veterans Affairs Volpe National Transportation Systems Center Wisconsin Department of Transportation Workplace Learning Connection Westat, Inc.

CONTACT US dsri-contacts@uiowa.edu

DSRI.UIOWA.EDU Follow us on:

DSRI Annual Report | 35

University of Iowa Driving Safety Research Institute 2401 Oakdale Boulevard Iowa City, Iowa 52242 dsri.uiowa.edu

The University of Iowa prohibits discrimination in employment, educational programs, and activities on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy (including childbirth and related conditions), disability, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, service in the U.S. military, sexual orientation, gender identity, or associational preferences. The university also affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities and equal access to university facilities. For additional information on nondiscrimination policies, contact the Director, Office of Institutional Equity, the University of Iowa, 202 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242-1316, 319-335-0705, oie-ui@uiowa.edu.

Access our ADS for Rural America data portal at ADSforRuralAmerica.uiowa.edu.

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