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Division of Vehicle, Driver, and System Safety maximizes expertise and tools to make a positive impact

VTTI's Division of Vehicle, Driver, and System Safety (DVDSS) applies advanced scientific research methods in the design and implementation of studies that evaluate solutions to important transportation challenges. Beneficiaries of the Division's work include original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), government/policy makers, automotive suppliers, and infrastructure owner-operators, among others. The team of 60+ faculty, staff, and student researchers focuses not only on developing and evaluating ideas that address current and future transportation challenges, but also on supporting sponsors during the development of advanced technologies that increase safety for all road users.

Former DVDSS director Zac Doerzaph—now VTTI's executive director—has a natural passion for transportation research. “There's no greater calling in life than saving people's lives,” Doerzaph said. “I get to work around cars and help create cutting-edge technology that makes an impact in our field.”

Doerzaph believes that with additional financial resources VTTI has the potential to bring a number of ideas to fruition and increase researchers' ability to develop tools for the next generation. With the availability of the Smart Roads infrastructure, the Division could pursue numerous initiatives including constructing a skid pad and exploring the rapidly growing segment of advanced technologies with in-house developed vehicles designed to support a variety of research areas. These tools will increase the Division's ability to continue tackling transportation challenges that we are facing today and in the future, increasing safety and accessibility for all road users while curbing negative effects on the environment and traffic.

Doerzaph, who has worked at VTTI for more than 20 years, cites a “highly collaborative environment” as a key component to his division's success and the diversity of past and current projects.

“We have an incredible set of experts who are passionate about what they do and truly care about making an impact,” Doerzaph said. “I've seen incredible evolution in the type of work we do and the way that we do it.”

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