General Motors Corp. has entered a $1.6-million,
3-year program to study driver distraction, according to a Detroit Free Press
story by Alejandro Bodipo-Memba.
With the proliferation of cell phones, vehicle navigation systems and consumer electronics in cars and trucks, driver distraction has become a concern for automakers and the federal government, with possible regulation looming on the horizon.
GM will help upgrade a driving simulator at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois
at Champaign-Urbana. Their partnership, which runs through 2004, also will look into the effectiveness of strategies to improve drivers' cognitive, perceptual and motor skills.
In the last seven years, the number of electronic devices available in cars has increased considerably. And with that escalation, anecdotal evidence has emerged to suggest drivers' attention is being diverted from the road more often than in years past.