$1.2 million driving simulator finds home in UAH’s College of Engineering

RIDE (Real-Time Instruction for Driver Education)

RIDE (Real-Time Instruction for Driver Education) will provide hands-on training to rural transit operators throughout Alabama.

The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) is pleased to announce the arrival of a brand-new high-tech driving simulator, which will be used to provide hands-on training to rural transit operators throughout the state.

Known as RIDE (Real-Time Instruction for Driver Education), the simulator is funded by a $1.2 million grant from Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) and will be located outside of Olin B. King Technology Hall on the UAH campus. Its operation will be overseen by the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering.

RIDE simulator

The simulator's curriculum includes a variety of real-life scenarios to increase driver safety.

"We are really excited to be able to offer this training opportunity to rural transit operators in Alabama, who provide an important service to underserved populations living in less accessible areas of the state," says Dr. Michael Anderson, associate professor and coordinator of the RIDE program. "We hope to one day expand it to include the many state agencies that also provide transportation to the elderly and disabled."

The simulator's curriculum will include decision driving, close-quarters maneuvering, negotiating intersections, and night/fog driving, all with the goal of reducing accidents and increasing passenger and driver safety. Additional scenarios can also be developed on an as-needed basis using RIDE's non-mobile companion simulator, which will be housed in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering.

"RIDE would not have been possible without the support we've received from ALDOT, and we look forward to partnering with them on this educational outreach initiative," says Dr. Anderson, adding those interested in scheduling training can call the program's direct line at 256.824.RIDE (7433) or email their request to RIDE@uah.edu.