University of Iowa ramping up automated vehicle testing on local rural roads

University of Iowa researchers with the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) are busy preparing for an upcoming demonstration study about automated driving on rural roads—thanks to a $7 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant officially awarded to the UI this spring…

The project—called Automated Driving Systems (ADS) for Rural America—will use a custom vehicle equipped with scanning lasers known as LIDAR, computer vision systems, RADARs, and high definition maps. A specially trained driver will be driving the vehicle at all times, and the vehicle will follow a 47-mile route through parts of Iowa City, Hills, Riverside, and Kalona—experiencing different types of roads along the route.

The project will also examine how the technology may one day provide transportation options for people in rural areas.