Home / News / UVA Teaming Up with VTTI to Study Novice Drivers with Autism – NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and … – NBC 29 News

UVA Teaming Up with VTTI to Study Novice Drivers with Autism – NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and … – NBC 29 News

Press Release from the University of Virginia Health System: 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Feb. 28, 2017 – The University of Virginia Health System is teaming up with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute to research novice drivers with autism to decide if they might profit from specialised coaching to assist them turn out to be higher, safer drivers and really feel extra snug behind the wheel.

Researchers will use a excessive-tech driving simulator and on-street driving to examine the driving efficiency of novice drivers with autism with these of novice drivers with out autism. The researchers additionally will take a look at a gaggle of rather more skilled drivers with out autism.

“With this, we will be able to determine if there is a specific need to give these folks [with autism] further attention and support even after they have a driver’s license,” stated UVA School of Medicine researcher Dan Cox, PhD. “Possibly just to become safer drivers, but also possibly to reduce collisions and driving mishaps.”

Driving Safety

Cox, of UVA’s Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, famous that the driving talents of novice drivers with autism – together with response time, imaginative and prescient and cognitive talents – have a tendency to be comparable to these of any particular person. Novice drivers with autism, nevertheless, might really feel further nervousness about driving in some instances. “Where things become challenging,” Cox stated, “is in the flexibility and the integration and the multitasking involved in on-road driving.”

Cox and his colleagues on the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) need to decide if specialised coaching may also help them with these challenges. During the research, Cox will place members in UVA’s excessive-tech driving simulator, which presents a managed setting for testing and evaluation. “The neat thing about virtual reality is that you can just focus on one task at a time, which you can’t in the real world,” Cox stated. “You can just focus on maintaining speed control, then you can focus on lane position, then, once they master that, you can worry about ability to brake. In the real world, you’re just thrust out there and you have to deal with it all at the same time.”

Real-World Driving

After finishing the simulation, research individuals will drive on actual roads utilizing a analysis car automotive VTTI has outfitted with superior knowledge assortment instrumentation. VTTI researchers will then will analyze key security-associated driver conduct.

Cox and his colleagues will finally examine the simulation with the in-automotive driving to decide if further interventions or countermeasures may benefit teen drivers, particularly these with autism, and, in that case, what type they need to take.

“These are novice drivers who have been approved. They’ve satisfied all the DMV requirements for independent drivers. Our goal is to determine if they differ from those without autism, and we then want to determine how these novice drivers in the virtual world and on road differ from experienced drivers,” Cox stated. “Once you know the differences, you can really drill down in terms of how to do interventions to neutralize those differences.”

To Participate

Cox is looking for to recruit 10 novice drivers with autism and 10 with out. The novice drivers should have had their licenses for lower than 12 months. He additionally plans to consider 10 skilled drivers with greater than 10 years behind the wheel, a gaggle Cox expects to draw from the mother and father of the novice drivers. Trial members will obtain $30 in compensation and an individualized report of their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to driving talents and expertise. A single go to to UVA will probably be required.

For extra info, contact UVA at (434) 924-8021 or (434) 924-5913. The research is IRB-HSR #19577.

The work is being supported by a $60,000 grant from four-VA, a collaborative partnership of UVA, Tech, George Mason University, James Madison University and Old Dominion University.

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