In 1983, the Center was named as the National Center for Personal Licensed Vehicles by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. The focus on the Center was to explore and develop innovative driver assessment and training devices and protocols used to assess the driving potential of persons with disabilities. This program helped establish the Driver Rehabilitation program as one of the leaders in the field, as it remains today.
In addition, several research activities have been conducted by graduate students in the Biomedical Engineering program. These projects have included the study of adaptive driving equipment and vehicle modifications; human factors involved in the driving task, and expert systems used to determine equipment specifications for vehicles and other assistive technology devices.
Center staff are also working with Biomedical Engineering faculty members on their research in human factors and with the Whitaker Foundation project to add engineering principles to the curriculum of the Assistive Technology graduate series.