Automated Driving Systems (ADS) for Rural America

A Ford Transit 350HD automated shuttle bus is about to embark on a two-year journey traversing a 47-mile loop of Midwestern roadways — with multiple destinations critical for equitable development of autonomous driving functions along the way.

The Automated Driving Systems (ADS) for Rural America project will collect and publish data to help train automated driving software for rural roads, all while illustrating the benefits of autonomy to populations currently underserved by public transportation options. And the impressions of those passengers before, during and after sessions of automated transport will supplement data recorded by the suite of sensors during their ride.

The National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) at the University of Iowa oversees the ambitious ADS for Rural America project as part of a $7 million research grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.