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project R-10652

Title : Examining Driving Behavior of Adults with Higher Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders to Develop and Evaluate an Innovative Driving Instructor Training Program (R-10652)
Abstract: The current project aims to comprehensively investigate driving behaviors as well as related psychological characteristics of novice drivers with ASD. For this, we use self-report measures and a driving simulator. The to-be-developed simulated driving scenarios can serve as validated assessment tools in future research. Furthermore, this project targets the development of innovative training modules for the driving instructors to equip them with the knowledge, tools and techniques to effectively develop driving capabilities and safe driving behaviors of novice drivers with ASD. By developing and distributing the proposed training modules, we expect that more people with ASD will be able to obtain a driving license, hereby enhancing their level of autonomy, as they will not be dependent on relatives and friends to assist in transportation requirements. The project also comes with an economic impact. First, as more people with ASD become able to obtain a driver's license, more people will be able to pursue vocational goals. Second, the driver instructors will be able to attract more learner drivers who experience difficulties with learning how to drive due to their ASD diagnosis. Third, the utilization of driving simulators in traffic safety and operation studies in Qatar is quite novel and it will significantly enhance the understanding of driver behavior in specific target groups such as people with ASD. Finally, this project will initiate active collaboration between research bodies and driving schools in order to improve driver-training programs in the state of Qatar.
Period of project : 1/06/2019to31/05/2022