Sunday, February 20, 2011

UVA receives grant to study driving skills of teens with autism

From The AP:

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The University of Virginia has received a $100,000 grant to study the driving skills of teens with autism.

The Charlottesville school said the grant was awarded by the Department of Defense.

Researchers will use virtual reality driving simulators to train and evaluate the driving skills of teens with Asperger's and high-functioning autism.

Officials say there are no legal driving restrictions for people with autism, but the degree of unpredictability while driving may be a challenge behind the wheel.

For example, they may struggle with the multitasking required to simultaneously keep the car in the correct lane, maintain an appropriate distance from the car in front of them, or respond to a changing stoplight or other signal.