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GM Brain Study...


Full Member
May 11, 2002
Royal Oak, Michigan
August 7, 2002
General Motors And Wayne State University School Of Medicine Will Study Physiological Basis Of Driver Distraction

New Research Partnership will use Advanced Brain Imaging Technology
DETROIT - General Motors announced today a major research partnership that ultimately could identify a physiological basis for driver distraction.

GM and the Brain Imaging Research Division of the Wayne State University (WSU) School of Medicine have begun several programs in the transportation Imaging Division of the newly established Brain and Behavior Institute in Detroit.

The programs will expand on the current joint effort to use real-time magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a safe and passive brain imaging method, along with human performance data, virtual reality simulation and safety advances in transportation communications and telematics, to better understand driver performance and potential distractions by actually watching how the brain processes tasks.

An initial grant of $100,000 to the WSU School of Medicine, through the GM Foundation, will enable advanced brain imaging technology and software from leading researchers and institutions globally to be assembled for the completion of key experiments. The grant is in addition to significant scientific and engineering collaborations between the partners. The GM-WSU School of Medicine research will take place through 2005 and may define additional partnerships.

"This research will help us understand how drivers manage distractions and interact with vehicle telematics," said Christopher C. Green, M.D., Ph.D., executive director of emerging issues in the GM Public Policy Center. "Additionally, the research can help form the basis for developing future in-vehicle telematics technology, driver training aids and other safety advances."

"The initial experiments will use functional magnetic resonance imaging during driver simulations that are real-world," said Gregory J. Moore, Ph.D., who is co-directing the GM-WSU medical school research. "The imaging technique shows the actual portions of the brain while they are being used in processing sensory information during driving tasks. That information allows researchers to see if multiple sources of sensory information are being processed and, if so, how efficiently."

Researchers also want to determine how other external factors, such as sleep deprivation; the use of caffeine, alcohol and over-the-counter medications; and even overall physical health impact a driver's brain's ability to process multiple tasks and interact with technology inside the vehicle, said Thomas W. Uhde, M.D., director of WSU's Brain and Behavior Institute and the medical school's assistant dean for neurosciences.

General Motors leads the industry in the effort to better comprehend the distracted driving issue. GM's award-winning "SenseAble driving" program is a multi-year, multi-million-dollar initiative that uses research, education and technology to address driver distraction. The program includes a public education campaign in all 173 Michigan Secretary of State offices. This education initiative has been made available to other states' department of motor vehicle offices. Learn more about "SenseAble driving" at www.senseabledriving.com .

General Motors (NYSE: GM), the world's largest vehicle manufacturer, designs, builds and markets cars and trucks worldwide, and has been the global automotive sales leader since 1931. GM employs about 355,000 people around the world. More information on General Motors can be found at www.gm.com.

With more than 1,000 medical students, WSU is among the nation's largest medical schools. Together with the WSU Physician Group, a practice organization consisting of the school's 750 clinical faculty members, the school is a leader in patient care and medical research in a number of areas including cancer, genetics, pediatrics and the neurosciences.

Waste of money, or worthwhile spending?
SOunds like a COMPLETE waste of money to me. All data collection with NO worthwhile benefits coming out of it.

I'm with you flynhigh . . . falls into the same catagory of government sponsored studies of the mating habits of cockroaches . . . .

My one comment regarding driver distraction . . .

It could lead to better ergonomics for all vehicles down the road and it's good publicity for the General now. ?

:0: ?Worthwhile idea once you read past the physiological babble. ?
I have to agree, just another excuse to study and research a not so interesting topic in the public eye.....could make an interesting FYI... :B:
It could have merit....I bet they are using this to help design better ergonomic features...HUD....RADIO steering wheel controls...etc etc

Plus I think they will use the results to push ONSTAR some more.....
Being that I may get my Masters Degree in Ergonomics: Safety & Human Factors, I can see that some knowledge could come from this study, but most of it would just be confirming already accepted theories.

IMHO - Definitely not following along GM's new GoFast "Lean" Operating push. I would classify the millions spent on this as NON value added operations
victory_red said:
Only distraction I seem to have trouble with is the opposite sex! Can't help but look as I drive by them!

So it's not just me! ?Do you also get the corresponding smack in the back of the head from the missus to?

Down here it is illegal to use a phone whilst driving, costs big $ and demerit points off your licence (lose too many points and you lose your licence) is it the same over there?

Skidd ?7;)
Problem with studying brains that way is that it works for half the folks, but the rest need to have their butt in the MRI. ;D
gandolphxx said:
Problem with studying brains that way is that it works for half the folks, but the rest need to have their butt in the MRI. ;D

Yes the problem with common sense.. is that it is just not that common!
This is a very inetresting study with more than one outcome. I studied Cognitive Science at Flinders Uni and my professor Dr Richard Clark is one of the leading researchers in a Worlwide Brain Imaging Database (BRC).
The Brain Resource Company (BRC) is a brain science company - driven by the quality of its scientific outcomes. The main focus of the company is bringing together ("integrating") information about the human brain. Commercialisation of human brain function analysis is undertaken using the first total quality controlled international database on the human brain. BRC has a global team of highly-credentialled scientists from a wide range of disciplines. BRC's new methods of analysing and modeling the brain are the culmination of decades of research. The software Analytical Tools are empowered by a large normative international database, with an on-going interplay between the two. Data is collected and transmitted over the internet by referring clinics for central processing by BRC. Revenues are generated from providing fee-for-service analysis reports.
Although GM is using MRI advanced real time imaging they will need to and more than likely use this service, as they must establish a protocol of what are the NORMAL parameters. Even though we can't change DRIVER's minds or their actions, we can integrate functions in vehicles to suit their obvious needs, actions, and comfort zones. Similar to what is done in testing of Advanced Military Helicopters and Fighter Jets, using Cognitive and Psychological assessments.
Anyone that's interested check out The Brain Resource Company. For everyone else........ SORRY I BORED THE HELL OUT OF YOU ;D
Skidd said:
Yes the problem with common sense.. is that it is just not that common!

Well said skid!!!

You know I thought I saw your new AV sitting on the loading dock at San Diego today. Black 2500 with leather and sun roof.

No it could't have been, the docks are shut down.
dmacker said:
Well said skid!!!

You know I thought I saw your new AV sitting on the loading dock at San Diego today. Black 2500 with leather and sun roof.

No it could't have been, the docks are shut down.

Doesn't the majority of shipping come out of The Port of Long Beach, in California?? I wonder where Skidds Avy will come from?? (as in which port).