Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) is celebrating its 20th anniversary. NADS is a part of the University of Iowa’s College of Engineering and a division in the Center for Computer-Aided Design.


As a part of the celebration, NADS is actively engaging the community to highlight the center’s contributions in making Iowa a better place to live. Some of these activities include public lectures, open houses, kids coloring contest, honorary simulator naming competition, and more. To learn more about the latest happenings, follow NADS on Facebook, Twitter (@DrivingSim), and Instagram (@DrivingSim). Detailed information and up-to-date calendars can also be found at: www.nads-sc.uiowa.edu/20years.


NADS was originally conceived by UI Mechanical Engineering professor Ed Haug in the 1980s. In 1992, the UI was selected to be the host site for NADS through a competition held by the National Science Foundation. With an investment from the US DOT, the State of Iowa, and the UI, ground was broken in 1998. In 2001, NADS became operational and opened its doors for business. Prof. LD Chen was the first Director of NADS, followed by Prof. Karim Abdel-Malek in 2006, and Mr. Herm Reininga in 2008. Since 2016, Prof. Daniel McGehee has served as Director of NADS.


NADS is a part of the world-renowned Center for Computer-Aided Design (CCAD). Since its inception, NADS has generated millions of dollars in research funding, including $7 million this past year. More information about NADS can be found in its most recent annual report.


As a self-sustained research center, NADS partners with federal and state agencies, the auto industry, and various organizations to make American roadways safer for everyone. In its first two decades, NADS simulators have been used in clinical and pharmaceutical trials, drugged driving research, highway design, safety training, military training and simulation, product testing, and much more.


The current day NADS utilizes world-class driving simulators and a fleet of on-road vehicles to research how humans interact with the rapidly advancing technologies of the 21st century. In 2017, partnering with the Iowa DOT and Iowa City Area Development Group, NADS succeeded in having the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids Corridor designated as just one of ten US DOT Automated Vehicle Proving Grounds in the nation. With Iowa’s rich agricultural background, NADS is particularly interested in how automated vehicle technologies can bridge the gap between rural communities and urban centers to improve safety, broaden mobility, and enhance the movement of goods.