In exchange, Virginia Tech researchers will develop hardware and software for a portable data collection system that records such information as steering wheel position, accelerator pedal position, brake pedal position and acceleration. Up to four video cameras and two microphones feed data to a suitcase-size unit that can be moved from vehicle to vehicle as needed. The system will be installed in the Peterbilt test vehicle.
The center will use the truck immediately for a national sleeper berth sleep quality study, along with a truck previously donated by Volvo Trucks North America. The research, funded by the Federal Highway Administration, will determine the effects of sleeper berth use on long-haul drivers’ alertness and driving performance. Schedules and team-driving issues are the focus of the research.