Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Thomas Burt has more than just an academic fascination with studying vehicular safety. For him, it’s personal. 

Before his senior year of undergrad, Burt was in a car accident that led him to take a semester off of school to make a recovery. After returning to his studies, he attended Professor Daniel McGehee’s Autonomous Vehicles course where he learned about the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS). With this knowledge, and his personal relationship to traffic safety, he applied to intern at NADS and spent a summer studying impaired driving ability. 

Currently, Burt is conducting research on cannabis impaired driving and performance modeling. His first publication was a literature review to find gaps in research, understand driving performance models, and identify future research needs. His next research topic was a comparison between a driver’s perceived driving performance and an objective evaluation of their driving. Overall, his research focuses on the effects of cannabis on driving performance and how it affects driving safety. After graduation, he looks to enter the automotive industry, where his research will impact the future of road safety and automated driving.