ACADEMIC INSIGHTS

Driving Simulator Builds Safety

UBís driving simulation laboratory, one of just a handful in the U.S., is now open for business.
DOUGLAS LEVERE, BA í89

From designing safer intersections to helping vehicular accident victims overcome their fears, a new driving simulation laboratory is now open for business in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The state-of-the-art facility, housed in UB’s New York State Center for Engineering Design and Industrial Innovation (NYSCEDII), is available for use by students, faculty and industry to conduct research on automotive and flight vehicles, driver behavior, acclimation of accident victims suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and even supplemental training of young drivers.

“This is one of a handful of motion simulator facilities in the U.S. and the only one within the State University of New York System,” says Kemper Lewis, executive director of NYSCEDII and professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Funded by a $150,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, the simulator consists of a “car” mounted on a six-degree-of-freedom motion base (donated by Moog Inc.) that realistically simulates the sensations of turning, braking and traveling up- or downhill. While the platform is moving, a 10-foot-by-8-foot display screen shows visualizations that simulate the “ride” the motion base passengers experience.