UI Develops Simulated Driving Platform for Teen and New Drivers

Thursday, July 14, 2011

University of Iowa News Release

The National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS), a research unit of the University of Iowa College of Engineering, is designing a driving simulation software platform for an Arizona-based firm that provides driving instruction for teen drivers and new drivers of all ages.

DMBA Global Inc.™ of Mooresville, N.C., and its partner, DrivingMBA® of Scottsdale, Ariz., have chosen the NADS MiniSim™ driving simulation platform for delivering their top-quality curriculum and instruction methodology in the safe, controlled environment of a driving simulator. NADS will develop a large, custom virtual city with urban, suburban and residential driving areas having a wide variety of road and intersection types to support the DrivingMBA curriculum. Two configurations of simulator cab hardware will also be delivered. The project will enhance NADS MiniSim capabilities and the existing NADS training program.

Beyond teaching driving skills, the DrivingMBA curriculum is sharply focused on challenging teens to become responsible decision-makers and thus responsible drivers. Parental involvement is required to actively reinforce the danger of distractions of all types and the danger of driving while under the influence any substance.

"We are not about handing out driver's licenses. We are about developing safe and responsible drivers. DrivingMBA helps teens build confidence and decision-making skills. This course is about choices. Learning to make the right ones, the safe ones, the responsible ones" said Maria Wojtczak of DrivingMBA.

The specific dangers of cell phone use of any type is an integral component of the DrivingMBA program. Cell phones are prohibited during training for all students.

"This is a great opportunity for NADS and the partnership of DMBA Global and DrivingMBA to take both of their programs to the next level," said Andrew Veit, NADS MiniSim Program Manager. "The enhanced capabilities they will receive are tailored specifically to their training requirements. We are honored to have been chosen for this opportunity and are looking forward to its success."

DrivingMBA officials note that their program already has successfully trained more than 5,500 young drivers in safe driving practices using a unique blend of simulated and real behind-the-wheel experiences. With a combination of effective curriculum, student-centered instruction and required family participation, results are achieved using a blend of simulator and behind-the-wheel training periods. The UI partnership is expected to make the program even more effective.

NADS, located at the UI Research Park, is the most sophisticated research-driving simulator in the world. Developed by NHTSA, it offers the world's highest fidelity real-time driving simulation experience.

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