DRI News

Dynamic Research and Westat Partner on NHTSA “Human Factors consideration for vehicle fail-safe strategies” Project

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Torrance, CA- Dynamic Research Inc. (DRI) has partnered with Westat of Rockville, MD to win the award of the NHTSA “Human factors considerations for vehicle fail-safe strategies” project, a 20-month study.

Fixed base simulator

Vehicle system failures could result in a significant risk for traffic safety. If a driver experiences a sudden failure while driving in traffic, there is a need for the driver to respond quickly and, depending on the circumstances and the nature of the failure, potentially get the vehicle to a safe stopping position.  One of NHTSA’s primary objectives of this study is to understand the driver’s response to a sudden failure. While focus groups and questionnaires will provide some insight into the driver response to a given failure, this study proposes to include an evaluation of drivers using the DRI fixed base simulator (FBS) located in the DRI Torrance, California facility. The FBS will deploy scenarios simulating one or more of these vehicle system failures with driver subjects. The FBS offers a repeatable, controlled environment to safely perform what would otherwise be a significantly dangerous driving scenario.

As a partner to Westat in this project award, DRI offers its human factors and driving simulator expertise and know-how, as well as a large database of simulator scenarios, roadways, and possible subject drivers. The DRI facilities, and equipment,, along with its  OEM relationships and NHTSA project experience, are an excellent complement to Westat’s capabilities.

Dynamic Research, Inc. (DRI) has done extensive testing, research, and vehicle R&D-related studies of driver behavior for more than 25 years. These studies have included driver behavior and driver/vehicle interaction studies in distracted driving, impaired driving, driving with vehicle automation (ADS) and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), driving in-vehicle system failure situations, and under typical driving circumstances. This has been accompanied by and built upon a long history of driver-vehicle interaction research by DRI’s senior human factors staff members.


Read more about DRI Driving Simulators.

Conducting Driving Research with Participants During a Pandemic

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Dynamic Research, Inc- Torrance , CA

Conducting traditional research with participants amidst a rapidly rising pandemic presents challenges in safety for not only participants, but also for those involved in conducting the study. After months of preparation, Dynamic Research Inc. (DRI) researchers were able to put a plan into place early in the pandemic and have been able to continue research without a single case of COVID-19.

Everyone involved in any aspect of the DRI driving research program, starting with all employees within the company, needed to be informed of the new protocols and had to agree to follow them while on the premises. Signs throughout the building and at main entrances clearly define the rules of entering and moving around the building during a pandemic. Potential participants also needed to know what DRI was doing to keep everyone safe during such an uncertain time. An email to all past participants went out to communicate the new rules and what was expected when visiting DRI.

Upon entering, all visitors and DRI employees stop at sanitizing stations to complete a wellness check that includes temperature and health screenings, as well as making sure appropriate masks are worn. Visitors were required to have DRI staff administer the wellness check. All high-touch areas are disinfected regularly and between subject runs. Additional sanitizing stations are available throughout the building for everyone to use. Social distancing is observed at all times and when social distancing is not possible, partitions are installed and the number of persons is limited in the area. Areas with limited access or off-limits are clearly marked and disinfected areas are indicated with appropriate signage.

Minimizing contact includes limiting the time participants are in the building. Therefore, the research team implemented an all-digital system where pre-research paperwork could be completed from home and reviewed before the participant’s arrival. Research paperwork, questionnaires, and data are also collected digitally to minimize touchpoints and to make the data collection process more efficient. Compensation to each participant is electronically distributed once their participation is complete. Questionnaires are sent after each session to gather important post-study feedback from all participants.  The acquired feedback helps DRI refine the protocols to ensure that participants felt safe during their visit.

While these precautions facilitate the completion of several research projects without a single case of COVID there are still some struggles throughout. With the number of pandemic cases rising high at times, some potential participants never felt completely comfortable and canceled at the last minute. Conversely, some participants needed to be reminded of the rules (e.g. proper mask-wearing at all times), but none had to be dismissed. Overall, planning and communication are the most important aspects of being able to continue to perform driving research during a pandemic. DRI’s experience has been that with protocols in place and clear communication of those protocols to everyone involved, successful research projects can be completed even in the most challenging times.

Simulator Upgrades

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DRI has recently completed a projection system upgrade on our moving base Driving Simulator.   

About three years ago we replaced our aging projectors with modern DLP projectors from Barco.  We have just now upgraded our projection screens to a spherical section fiberglass screen.  This new screen comprises a 180-degree horizontal field of view and, depending on cab configuration, between 60 and 40-degree vertical FOV.

We are excited to begin studies with our newly upgraded graphics!

DRI’s response to COVID-19

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Dynamic Research, Inc. (DRI) is taking all the recommended steps to help protect the health and safety of our staff and customers during these challenging times. We are monitoring the local government and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the latest guidelines and recommendations for businesses to protect our employees and guests.

We have put plans in place to continue doing business as usual to the extent possible.

The health and safety of our employees, clients, and guests are our top priority. DRI is closely monitoring developments relating to COVID-19 and will issue additional announcements as updates become available.

The New Global Vehicle Target (GVT) has arrived!

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Soft Car 360® Revision G





ISO 19206-3 Compliant

Verified using ISO procedures and metrics






Approved for Turn-Across-Path

Approved by Euro NCAP for use in Car-to-Car Front Turn-Across-Path (CCFtap) scenarios



Upgrade Revision F Soft Cars

Can be upgraded for Euro NCAP Car-to-Car Rear (CCR) scenarios

Sturdier Shape

Improved side support for a more repeatable shape

Feature Details

ISO 19206-3 Compliant

The Soft Car 360® meets all requirements specified in ISO 19206-3: Requirements for passenger vehicle 3D targets. The Radar characteristics are representative of typical passenger vehicles as confirmed using Fixed-Angle and Fixed-Range measurement procedures as well as spatial locations of the reflections. The Radar measurements were performed using DRI’s Radar Measurement Cart, which can be used to perform calibrated measurements in the field.

Approved for Turn-Across-Path

Euro NCAP has approved DRI’s new approved Euro NCAP Soft Car 360® can be used for the new CCFtap scenario being introduced in the 2020 protocol as well as for existing scenarios., such as CCR (Car-to-Car Rear). The previous version of the Soft Car, Revision F, is still approved for the CCR scenarios

CCR (2018+): Revision F or G          CCFtap (2020+): Revision G

Upgrade Revision F Soft Cars

Many customers are currently using the Soft Car 360 Revision F for development and testing. Existing customers can continue to use their Revision F targets for Euro NCAP CCR evaluations and their own internal development. However, if a customer wants to test For Euro NCAP CCFtap scenarios customers should consider purchasing a new Revision G target or a Retrofit Kit to convert their Revision F to G.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did the Soft Car change?

DRI has been working with sensor suppliers to ensure the characteristics of the Soft Car are representative and in line with the state of the art in terms of detection algorithms.  As sensor detection algorithms become more sophisticated it is necessary to present a more realistic representation to prevent false alarms and misclassifications.

What changed between Revision F and G?

In order to improve the characteristics from the front and side, we made several changes to the radar treatment that is integrated into the Soft Car components. This includes changes to the skin and wheel treatment.  There were also some minor shape changes to the front of the Soft Car to improve front radar return and to the side to improve the ability to hold its shape.

Interested in DRI’s Soft Car 360 or Radar Measurement Cart?
Contact DRI at info@dynres.com or visit www.DRI-ATS.com

DRI Motorcycle Research Presentations

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Dr. Terry Smith will be presenting a paper at the SMSA 2018 National Training Summit in September 2018 on “Crash Avoidance Technologies and the Recognition of Motorcycles.”

John Lenkeit will be presenting a paper titled “Development of a Surrogate Motorcycle Soft Target for Use in ADAS Testing”  at the 12 th International Motorcycle Conference (Germany) in October 2018.

Mike Van Auken will also be presenting a poster on “Passenger Vehicle-Powered Two Wheeler Pre-Crash Trajectory Reconstruction and Conflict Analysis Results for Real-World Crashes in France, Germany, and Italy” at the 12 th International Motorcycle Conference (Germany) in October 2018.

We welcome you to attend their presentations to hear about the motorcycle research Dynamic Research has worked on lately.

DRI Soft Car 360 Introduced by Euro NCAP as the Global Vehicle Target (GVT)

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The European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) held a Global Vehicle Target (GVT) Familiarization event on April 12-13, 2018 in Upper Heyford, UK, to introduce the automotive industry to the an updated version of DRI’s Soft Car 360, which has been selected as the official Euro NCAP car target for the upcoming 2018 and 2019 test seasons.  At the event, vehicle manufacturers, tier 1 suppliers, and others had the opportunity to see the GVT firsthand and make their own radar and other sensor measurements of it.

The following excerpt is from the event invitation by Thatcham Research, on behalf of Euro NCAP:

“In 2018 Euro NCAP introduces the Global Vehicle Target (GVT) for use in the active safety testing elements of the rating scheme. The GVT provides the full 3D representation of a passenger car necessary for the more comprehensive testing scenarios introduced in 2018, and it replaces the old Euro NCAP Vehicle Target (EVT) which represented the rear end of a vehicle. The industry has contributed to the development of the GVT, evaluating modifications to optimize the fidelity of the target for today’s automotive sensors.”

For more information about the GVT, or to order go to the DRI ATS website and request a quote for the Hatchback (GVT) model.


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