Dr. Tom Dingus is the director of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), an endowed professor of engineering at Virginia Tech, and president of VTT, LLC. For more than two decades, he has managed the operations and research at VTTI, which annually conducts more than $36 million in sponsored research. In collaboration with VTTI engineers and researchers, he helped pioneer the naturalistic driving study research method, which involves instrumenting vehicles with unobtrusive video cameras and sophisticated instrumentation to assess real-world driver behavior and performance. VTTI and partners recently completed the Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) Naturalistic Driving Study, the largest study of its kind with more than 3,500 drivers aged 16 – 98 across six data collection sites in the United States. The resulting data comprise more than 35 million miles of continuous naturalistic data and more than 1,900 verified crash events, making it the largest crash-only database available. The naturalistic driving study method is now being employed at VTTI to study driver behavior/performance in advanced vehicles, including automated vehicles, thus providing a realistic understanding of human-machine interactions in such vehicles.
Dr. Dingus has more than 220 technical publications and has managed more than $330 million in research funding to date. He was named a White House Champion of Change in 2013 and is a Fellow of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, from which he has received several awards, including the A.R. Lauer Award for outstanding contributions to the field of safety. He is a member of the boards of directors of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and the Intelligent Transportation Society of America.