ATV simulator aims to reduce real vehicle crashes - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

ATV simulator aims to reduce real vehicle crashes

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It's a project almost a year in the making - and it could be preventing ATV injuries.

"It took about nine months, and then in march we were finally able to get everything rolling," said Kyle Losik, a University of Iowa engineering student.

An ATV simulator is up and running at the U of I.

The engineering school designed it to study why and how real ATV accidents happen, through virtual reality.

The simulator works just like a real ATV - . all the controls are in the exact same spots, and to see the map in front of you, you just put on the virtual reality goggles.

With the help of a motion suit, researchers can study riders and what causes them to crash.

"It's able to recreate your motion and your joint angles in a software," Losik said.

Virtual courses range from flat to more challenging terrains.

And soon, real ATV riders will give it a go for the first time.

"Next week, we start bringing in ATV riders, like a subject," said Salam Rahmatalla, an associate engineering professor, "and we test them on the simulator."

But until then, researchers will spend the next few days learning as much as they can about the simulator.

"We really wanna make sure it's as safe as possible before we get anyone in here besides people that work here," said Losik.

Researchers said it took nearly a dozen people to get the project off the ground.

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