The National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) is a center for driving simulation excellence located at the University of Iowa’s Oakdale Research Park Campus. The NADS facility is home to a range of simulators that offer varying levels of driving realism. NADS employees are a collection of experts unmatched in their experience in working with all aspects of driving simulation.
Development and research conducted at the NADS – sponsored by government, military, and industry partners – saves lives, improves quality of life for motorists, advances the state of the art in driving simulation, and improves the efficiency and productivity of the vehicle manufacturing sector.
For over 25 years, researchers at The University of Iowa have continuously defined the state-of-the-art in simulation, vehicle dynamics modeling, and cognitive systems engineering. NADS continues this rich tradition by advancing multidisciplinary, collaborative simulation science and technology at the University and beyond.
The NADS is an independent, self-funded research unit at The University of Iowa. External contracts and grants fund the approximately 30 full-time staff members, as well as graduate and undergraduate research assistants pursuing degrees at The University of Iowa.
The NADS organization is part of the Center for Computer Aided Design (CCAD), a multidisciplinary research center within the College of Engineering that specializes in conducting applied research in design, optimization, modeling and simulation of materials, structures, vehicles, and mechanical, cognitive, and biomechanical systems at The University of Iowa.
NADS shares with CCAD and The University of Iowa a commitment to academic advancement, technological innovation, and the transfer of research results to industrial and governmental communities.
Simulation provides the ideal mechanism for exploring research that is infeasible, too costly, or unsafe in the real world, including assessing cognitive or physical ability, gaining understanding of driver performance and behavior, testing vehicle design in virtual proving grounds, and training drivers.
The NADS offers driving simulators with a range of fidelities in order to best address the requirements for each project: NADS-1, the world’s highest-fidelity simulator; NADS-2, a fixed-base simulator; and the NADS MiniSim™, a low-cost PC-based portable simulator.