This project is a collaboration between Toyota's CSRC and University Of Iowa

The University of Iowa is collaborating with Toyota to research driver behavior related to pre-drive behavior. The goal of this research is to create statistically reliable models of foot placement in order to better quantify and predict driver-vehicle interactions to aid in the development of vehicle-based enhancements.

The project will take place over a six-stage process, beginning with a data analysis of existing research and culminating by tracking drivers in real-world situations:

1. The project will begin with an analysis of existing studies on driver behavior during a typical vehicle start-up sequence. This initial phase of the project will also focus on identification of issues and potential gaps in existing research and a review of current SAE/ISO standards.

2. Researchers then will develop an experimental plan for both driving simulation and in-vehicle testing. The plan will incorporate information from previous Japanese studies, but will modify procedures as appropriate for North American driving conditions.

3. Next, a study will be conducted at the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) at the University of Iowa. Using the NADS-2 fixed-base full cab simulator, this study will examine foot behavior around the pedals at early stages of the driving sequence, such as vehicle entry, engine start-up and gear selection. Test subjects will be selected from varying age groups, and vehicles will be equipped with high-definition cameras placed at strategic locations to capture driver behavior and foot placement at each stage.

4. The data collected will be used to develop a statistical model and functional analysis of driver behavior patterns, with particular attention to driver foot behavior.

5. A “data acquisition” package will then be created for further study of driver-vehicle interactions over a longer period of time in a naturalistic driving study.

6. The naturalistic driving study of about 30 subjects will be completed in 12 months. Each participant will have an event-triggered data recorder installed in their vehicle for one month. This recorder will capture important data on driver-vehicle interaction during the engine start-up, gear selection, and first 30 seconds of vehicle movement.

A comprehensive final report will describe studies and their conclusions.


This project is expected to take three years to complete. The following is a projected time frame for the expected completion of each task:

Task 1: 4 months
Task 2: 3 months
Task 3: 10 months
Task 4: 9 months
Task 5: 21 months
Task 6: 21 months
Task 7 (development of final report): 7 months