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Simulation: A multi-use tool for transportation safety

Date: 3/15/2017, 1:00 PM-2:00 PM EDT
Speaker: Dawn Marshall, Director of SAFER-Sim Univesity Transportation Center
Organization: University of Maryland
OST-R Office: Office of Research, Development and Technology (RDT)


After years of decline, traffic fatalities are increasing, leading to broad-based calls to increase traffic safety. Coupled with existing issues such as driver distraction, the arrival of automated and connected vehicle technologies has created further safety challenges. There is a pressing need for data-driven, scientific research to develop a strong foundation for addressing human factors and trust issues that can enable policy development to facilitate a seamless and safe transition to an automated and connected environment for all road users. Driving, bicycling, and pedestrian simulation is increasingly being used for safety, design, and operations research by the US DOT, automobile manufacturers, research universities, and international research centers. Simulation allows for rapid creation and evaluation of potential countermeasures to understand and mitigate safety risks without concern for costs of installation or liability of installing an unproven treatment in the field.  This presentation will discuss the strengths of human-in-the-loop simulation in general and specific applications of simulation for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians to understand transportation safety issues.


Photo of Dawn Marshall

Dawn Marshall is the Director of the SAFER-Sim University Transportation Center a Tier 1 center located at the University of Iowa.  She is also a Research Manager with the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) within the University of Iowa and has been engaged in driving research since 1997.

Sponsored by: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology (OST-R), University Transportation Centers Program (UTC)

DISCLAIMER: The views, opinions, findings and conclusions reflected in this presentation are the responsibility of the authors only and do not represent the official policy or position of the USDOT/OST-R, or any State or other entity.

For more information, contact Denise E. Dunn at

Last updated: Friday, June 16, 2017