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Release: Immediate

UI computer science researchers receive NSF driving simulation grant

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Two University of Iowa researchers have received a $20,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support collaborative driving simulation research between the University and IRISA, a French national research center located in Rennes, France.

Joseph Kearney and James Cremer, computer science professors in the UI College of Liberal Arts, are principal investigators on a project in which researchers from Iowa and IRISA will share information, data and software on driving simulation. According to Kearney, "Interactive driving simulation is proving to be a valuable tool for understanding the causes of crashes and strategies for crash prevention. Because of the world-wide interest in driving safety, it is particularly appropriate to investigate this new technology through international cooperation."

The new grant compliments two previously awarded NSF grants including a $323,000 grant on scenario modeling for virtual environments awarded to Kearney and Cremer and a $200,000 equipment grant awarded to Kearney and Cremer and their UI colleagues Jon Kuhl, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Florian Potra, professor of mathematics.

Both institutions are established centers for driving simulation. In addition to the work being done by Kearney, Cremer and their colleagues, University of Iowa researchers have conducted related research using the Iowa Driving Simulator (IDS), since 1991 the world's second-most advanced driving simulator, next to Germany's Daimler-Benz simulator. Also, the approximately $46 million National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS), to be completed in the spring of 1999 at the UI's Oakdale Research Park, will be the world's most advanced driving test facility used to research safety issues, such as the effects of medical conditions or medications on drivers, and to help design safer and more efficient highways and vehicles.