Engineering to Benefit from $17 Million Research Grant for Automotive Safety Research

Monday, February 3, 2014

The University of Iowa Public Policy Center (PPC) has received three grants totaling $17.2 million to fund automotive safety research and the development and implementation of a national education campaign to help drivers understand the safety systems in their vehicles.

The funds for the grants are provided as part of the Safety Research and Education Program established by the recent Toyota Economic Loss class action settlement in California.

Among the UI projects resulting from the grant are the following benefiting the College of Engineering:

  • A study at the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) that examines replicating emergency events in a controlled and safe environment.
  • An engineering analysis being conducted by NADS and the Department of Geography to determine if multiple car sensor systems can be used together to prevent certain types of crashes.

The UI has been a national leader in driver safety research for over 25 years, and has the advantage of having conducted safety technology design and evaluation using state-of-the-art instrumented vehicles, naturalistic driving technologies, and high fidelity driving simulation at the National Advanced Driving Simulator and other UI facilities.

UI research project leaders include McGehee, overall principal investigator, and key personnel from five other UI colleges: Sue Chrysler, College of Engineering (NADS); Kevin Leicht, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Department of Sociology and Iowa Social Science Research Center; John Murry from the College of Business Department of Marketing; Dr. Matthew Rizzo, Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine Department of Neurology; and Natoshia Askelson and Corinne Peek-Asa from the UI College of Public Health. Kathleen Stewart, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Department of Geography.