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

Title/Position
Director of Human Factors Research
Phone

News: Human Factors

Cameras mounted on the exterior of the driver and passenger side doors capture lane position.

Cameras mounted on the exterior of the driver and passenger side doors capture lane position.

Medical research meets driving research

Does exercise change driving performance in patients with Parkinson’s disease? 

Countermeasures to reduce drowsy driving

Teen driver study

Teens at the wheel

When parents are in the vehicle with their teenage driver, crash rates are low. However, as soon as teens are by themselves, the crash rates skyrocket. Can new-driver training programs be used to effectively lower those rates?
Inside the NADS-1 simulator

NADS pulls in nearly $1.5M to further study transition of control in automated vehicles

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) recently granted the University of Iowa National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) a $1.45 million award to further study transition of control in automated vehicles in a simulation environment.

Car and Driver Magazine: We Take an $80 Million Driving Simulator for a Spin

The University of Iowa uses a Toyota Camry and a lot of tech to study how humans interact with the future. We went for a drive.

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.

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.