The pod is a driving simulator, and it is large enough to fit the various vehicles the university uses for testing. It moves in all directions to simulate external forces on a vehicle, and on the inside, it displays a 360-degree simulated view. The pod is housed in a basketball gymnasium-sized room at the University of Iowa’s National Advanced Driving Simulator.
Daniel McGehee, the simulator’s director and an associate professor at the University of Iowa, said it is the largest of its kind in the world and is one of only 10 sites in the nation that has a U.S. Department of Transportation-certified automated vehicle proving ground.
“We can mimic all the different forces of driving: swerving, hard brakes, losing control,” McGehee said. “We can do all that, and it moves around the entire room.”