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September 14, 2016

Driving researchers and practitioners worldwide recently gathered in Blacksburg, Va., for the Fifth International Symposium on Naturalistic Driving Research, hosted by the National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

“This year’s symposium was our most successful one yet,” said Myra Blanco, director of the institute’s Center for Public Policy, Partnerships, and Outreach. “We hosted presenters and attendees from nine countries and were fortunate to have Ron Medford from X [formerly GoogleX] and Bruce Simons-Morton from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development as keynote speakers.”

The symposium provided researchers and practitioners with an overview of international naturalistic driving studies, a method designed to track driver behavior in real-time. Panelists discussed their research findings from a variety of vehicle types and driver demographics, including automated and connected vehicles, teen drivers, and motorcycles. Guests also interacted with panelists to discuss naturalistic driving in their respective countries and gained insight into the next generation of naturalistic driving studies.

The symposium was followed by a motorcycle research and technology workshop and a seminar focused on women in transportation, for which Deborah Hersman of the National Safety Council and Ann Brach of the Transportation Research Board both served as keynote speakers. Blanco noted that the motorcycle workshop and women in transportation seminar, both in their inaugural year, gave students an exclusive chance to engage with industry professionals.

“The Motorcycle Research and Technology Workshop and the Women in Transportation Seminar were first-ever events that brought together leaders in their fields and provided unique opportunities for professionals and students to advance their knowledge of these industries,” said Blanco.

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute would like to thank the following conference sponsors for their support.

Naturalistic Driving Research Symposium Sponsors:
Meritor WABCO

Motorcycle Research and Technology Workshop Sponsors:
Motorcycle Safety Foundation

Women in Transportation Seminar Sponsor:

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