Human Factors Research

Our work enhances safety through understanding the human-vehicle relationship. 

Technology: We work to understand and advance vehicle technology and simulation science.

Understanding: We explore methods for improving driver performance and understanding of technology, such as driver training and studying mental models.

Performance: We aim to identify and shift the limits of the human-machine relationship by studying

  • Drowsy and distracted driving
  • Novice or young drivers
  • Older drivers
  • User interfaces 

Mobility: We work to enhance mobility with the use of connected and automated vehicles through research and outreach.

Contact

John Gaspar

John Gaspar

Director of Human Factors Research

News: Human Factors

Inside NADS-1 simulator

NADS lands contract with NHTSA for automated vehicle research

Thursday, October 20, 2022
The University of Iowa National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) has secured a contract with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for a project that will look at roadway interactions between human-driven and automated vehicles.
Justin Mason in the NADS control room

NADS welcomes new assistant research scientist Justin Mason

Wednesday, September 14, 2022
Help us welcome our new assistant research scientist Justin Mason. Check out this quick Q&A to learn more about what drives Mason's research and why he chose the University of Iowa.
2021 NADS Annual Report

A year in review: Rural roads, drowsy driving, cannabis, and more

Tuesday, January 4, 2022
See what we’ve been up to in the past year in our NADS Annual Report, with stories about ADS for Rural America, driving drowsy, regenerative braking safety benefits, cannabis and driving, and more. 

O’Neal receives NICHD award to further study teen driving safety

Friday, May 21, 2021
Congratulations to Dr. Elizabeth O'Neal, a postdoctoral research scholar at the National Advanced Driving Simulator and the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, for receiving a K99/R00 Award from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
KCRG TV9 News with John Gaspar at NADS

Iowa State Patrol focus on bad driving habits with enforcement project, say distracted driving plays a role

Thursday, April 29, 2021
KCRG TV9 News reports on the rise in distracted driving, what law enforcement has seen, and the research being done on distracted driving at the University of Iowa National Advanced Driving Simulator.
KWWL: distracted driving

Expert says driver distraction is becoming more dangerous in Iowa

Tuesday, April 27, 2021
NADS Director Dan McGehee talks with KWWL on the dangers of distracted driving, especially on Iowa's unforgiving roads.
Distracted driving research

NADS researchers work to understand driver distraction and make roads safer

Thursday, April 22, 2021
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. 3,142 people were killed from distracted driving in 2019 – a 10% increase from 2018. NADS researchers work to reverse that trend.
Cameras mounted on the exterior of the driver and passenger side doors capture lane position.

Medical research meets driving research

Tuesday, February 2, 2021
Does exercise change driving performance in patients with Parkinson’s disease?