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Tom Dingus, Distinguished Technical Fellow


As director of VTTI for 25 years, Dr. Dingus managed more than $800 million in research funding on projects designed to enhance transportation safety, improve the efficiency of our transportation system across multiple users (e.g., teen drivers, older drivers, commercial vehicle drivers, motorcyclists, pedestrians), assess driver performance and behavior, and ensure the safe and efficient development and deployment of advanced vehicles (including automated vehicles). Dr. Dingus and VTTI engineers pioneered the naturalistic driving study (NDS) research method, which involves instrumenting vehicles with unobtrusive cameras, sensors, and radars that assess crash and near-crash causation. Today, VTTI houses nearly 2.5 petabytes of continuous naturalistic driving data, including the National Academy of Sciences-funded Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) NDS, the largest study of its kind with more than 3,500 drivers and more than 35 million miles of continuous naturalistic data. Collectively, VTTI naturalistic data sets help government agencies, automotive manufacturers, suppliers, and fellow researchers determine and mitigate through effective countermeasures the greatest risk factors faced by drivers.

Dr. Dingus led substantial efforts in growing Virginia as a pioneer in advanced-vehicle research, with VTTI and partners creating a suite of advanced test beds, including the Virginia Automated Corridors in Northern Virginia and the Virginia Smart Roads in Blacksburg, Va., which facilitate both public roadway and edge-and-corner (e.g., surface street, rural roads, self-generated all-weather) test scenarios.

During his time as executive director, Dr. Dingus worked with private- and public-sector partners—including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, automotive manufacturers, and suppliers—to create data acquisition, advanced data analytics, and simulation methods that provide the technical foundation for the development and deployment of advanced vehicles and systems.

Dr. Dingus serves as the Newport News Shipbuilding Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics at Virginia Tech and holds the title of Distinguished Fellow, Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science.