Murdock Naturalistic Driving Fleet & Lab

Science & Engineering Integrated Research Facility for Human Factors in Rural Traffic Safety

WTI recently received a grant awarded by the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust to instrument a vehicle fleet for naturalistic studies of rural traffic safety human factors and field tests of rural traffic safety interventions. This fleet is designed to assist the researchers in understanding and addressing driver–related factors in rural traffic fatalities. A tertiary purpose of this grant is to establish research capabilities based on integration of facilities including driving simulator, test track experiments, and field studies. The first instrumented vehicle to be purchased will be a 2008 Chevrolet Impala that will be equipped with a Data Acquisition System (DAS) installed to record and store data from video cameras, vehicle controls, integrated sensors, and the vehicle diagnostic (OBDII) system. Parametric driving data collection includes such measures as speed, braking, acceleration, lane position, global positioning, and g-forces. The instrumented vehicle will be equipped with eye tracking technology by SensoMotoric Instruments - SMI. The eye tracking technology will enable researchers to monitor drowsiness, inattention, and the cognitive workload to the driver in order to improve driver safety.

The lab also has several psychophysiology capabilities available through the use of a BioPac MP150WSW which includes the ability to record a wide variety of autonomic nervous system functions, including:

  1. heart rate
  2. skin conductance (also resistance)
  3. skin temperature
  4. muscle tension (EMG)
  5. and neuronal activity (EEG)


, Assistant Professor (406) 994-1399