CONTACT: GARY GALLUZZO
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0009; fax (319) 384-0024
UI researcher to represent U.S. at International Standards Organization
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Daniel McGehee, director of the Human Factors Research
Program at the University of Iowa Public Policy Center, has been chosen by
the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) to serve as U.S. representative
to the International Standards Organization (ISO) on the subject of design
standards for automotive crash avoidance systems.
McGehee, a transportation safety and human factors expert, will collaborate
with other researchers in the scientific community and the automotive industry
in developing a U.S. design standards policy on automotive crash avoidance
systems. During the two-year study period, he will represent the U.S. position
to the ISO, which dictates international policy for automobile design and
As a part of the design standards project, the SAE, which sets standards
for the U.S. automotive industry, awarded McGehee an $80,000 grant to develop
the U.S. position on forward collision warning systems, which can help prevent
rear-end collisions. McGehee, who has conducted extensive design testing and
evaluation research on such warning systems, notes that one-quarter of all
automotive crashes are rear-end collisions.
He says that the system immediately warns the driver that a rear-end collision
is imminent, and, in some cases, may even automatically apply the brakes.
"Sensor technologies now exist that may help reduce or lessen the severity
of rear-end crashes, so designing the driver interface to be usable and effective
is important," McGehee says.
He is also currently the principal investigator of a four-year National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research contract on rear-end collisions.
The study examines how drivers typically behave and perform in a rear-end
crash and how elements surrounding the crash are perceived. "The results
of this study will help determine the best driver interface designs for crash
avoidance systems that promote displays of information for the driver that
are effective and easy to understand," he says.
Formed in 1987, the UI Public Policy Center is an interdisciplinary research
unit dedicated to the scholarly examination of social, technological and economic
policy alternatives. The Center's human factors research explores how people
interact physically and cognitively with machines, including such subjects
as antilock brake safety, improvement of nighttime driving visibility, use
and misuse of child safety seats and prediction of driver fitness. Along with
human factors research, the center has programs in transportation, economics,
and health policy research.