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The National Science Foundation hasawardeda $356,337 grant to the University of Iowa to use virtual technology to study social influences on risky cycling and pedestrian behavior.

“This project will create a simulation facility that will advance a capability to study the social interactions of two children, or a child and parent, as the two people walk or bicycle across a traffic-filled roadway,” the grant announcement said.

It will “expand existing infrastructure” at the university “to build a new simulator that matches a recently installed simulator at the same institution, which will permit each of two experimental participants to inhabit their own separate simulated environment.”

Both stimulators will be connected by a “high-speed network and programmed to share a single, virtual environment that can be configured for either bicycling or walking.”

The grant is for a three-year period from Nov. 1, 2013 to Oct. 31, 2016.

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