Our Mission

To make our roads safer by researching the connection between humans and vehicles, using both simulators and on-road vehicles.


Touch screens in cars are distracting, so why do we keep putting them there?

Daniel McGehee is a human factors engineer and director of the National Advanced Driving Simulator at the University of Iowa, where he studies distracted driving and specializes in figuring out how to design vehicle interfaces around human limitations, such as memory and vision.
Connected driving on rural roads

Iowa researchers prepare rural roads for the future

Most roads in the U.S. are in rural areas, and the University of Iowa’s National Advanced Driving Simulator is working to make them safer and prepare them for a future with driverless vehicles.

Advanced Brain Monitoring Hits the Road with Cannabis Impairment Detection

Advanced Brain Monitoring is set to develop a Cannabis Impairment Detection Application. Building on successful achievements of a multi-year collaboration with the University of Iowa’s National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) involving drug effects on driving and brain activity, the team will conduct controlled cannabis dose-response studies with an alcohol comparison to assess the sensitivity and specificity of the CIDA.

A Cool 60 Million for Automated Driving R&D

The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded nearly $60 million in grant funding to eight projects in seven states to test the safe integration of automated driving systems (ADS). The grants seek to gather safety data to inform rulemaking and foster collaboration amongst state and local government and private partners.

Federal grant to help NADS study automated vehicles on rural roads

The University of Iowa’s National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) received a $7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to study the safe deployment of automated vehicles in rural areas.

University of Iowa awarded $7 million from US DOT to test driverless technologies

The University of Iowa will put to use a $7.03 million grant it received from the U.S. Department of Transportation to test how automated driving systems safely can be introduced on the state’s roads.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Announces Automated Driving System Demonstration Grant Winners

U.S. Secretary of Transportation announced nearly $60 million in federal grant funding to eight projects in seven states to test the safe integration of automated driving systems (ADS) on our nation’s roadways.

Iowa Engineer: Celebrating 20 years of driver safety research

University of Iowa College of Engineering magazine

Looking Beyond Bioptic Telescopes

For the past 40 years, bioptic telescopes have been the most frequently used option to allow drivers with visual impairments to maintain driving independence. However, bioptic telescopes require a switching of visual attention, potentially leading to driver distraction and emphasizing the need for additional research on modern alternatives.

9 signs you could be a distracted driver

Art, science collide in dance

University of Iowa Dance Department, in collaboration with the National Advanced Driving Simulator, presents There Are No Accidents: Crash Dance, which explores the art and science to human error in a technology-programmed world.

Iowa Senate approves autonomous vehicle regulations

The Iowa Senate has approved legislation that would govern how autonomous vehicles operate in the state.

Tractor simulator studies farm safety

Farming is the most dangerous domestic job in the United States, nearly a hundred agricultural workers are injured every day. In particular, operating large, heavy machines can hurt or kill farmers but researchers at the University of Iowa are trying to learn more to save lives.

Steering Iowa toward automated vehicles

Talking to teens can lead to safer driving

A study from the University of Iowa National Advanced Driving Simulator finds that the use of video monitoring technology combined with parents talking to their teens about safe driving motivates young drivers to be safer.

Knowing your car's assisted driving limits

A report released by AAA with information given from researchers by a team at the University of Iowa's National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) shows advanced driver assistance systems have the ability to prevent 2.7 million crashes if installed on all vehicles, but researchers are finding those numbers can only be achieved if drivers are well-educated on their systems.

See all archived news articles

Past findings in NADS cannabis research from 2015

Read archived news articles of some of our past research findings in cannabis-impaired driving.
Automated shuttle bus on rural Iowa road

ADS for Rural America

Learn more about our Automated Driving Systems (ADS) for Rural America project, which will be coming through Iowa City, Hills, Riverside, and Kalona, Iowa, starting fall 2021. 

NADS-1 bay, 3D globe image

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Take a 360 degree virtual tour of our facility, and learn more about our technology and expertise.