Civil Engineering Undergrad Chosen for SURF Award

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program funds undergraduate students to conduct research under the guidance of a Michigan Tech faculty member.  Darian Reed, an undergraduate student in Civil Engineering, has been chosen as a 2017 SURF Award recipient.  He will be working with Dr. Pasi Lautala.


Evaluation of Methods to Record Head Orientation in Driving Simulator and In-Vehicle Study Environments

This project concentrates on two aspects; development of a naturally wearable head orientation sensing device using Arduino™ hardware, and development of a methodology that allows a scientifically validated comparison and interpretation of head orientation measurements in both environments. This project is a continuation of the research Aaron Dean performed in his 2016 SURF. It will benefit the outcomes of the current projects such as the current large-scale behavioral study of driver behavior at highway-rail grade crossings that Dr. Pasi Lautala and Dr. Myounghoon Jeon are currently working on . The research uses data from the 2nd Strategic Highway Research Program Naturalistic Driving Study (SHRP2), but will also allow us to make conclusions on the similarity of head orientation measurements in naturalistic and simulated environments. Overall, the results should allow us to improve the accuracy of modeling driver behavior using driving simulators. In addition, it will standardize the data collection platform in future projects, such as expansion of our current study to naturalistic (real-life) environment and other studies requiring a rotational head tracking component.