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University of Iowa News Release

July 1, 2003

July 21-24 Symposium Focuses On Human Factors In Driving

Driver distraction and cell phone usage will be one of several key topics discussed during the 2nd International Driving Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training and Vehicle Design July 21-24 in Park City, Utah.

The symposium is an interdisciplinary forum where some 130 experts from 12 countries will exchange scientific research findings on recent advances in driver and vehicle safety. The conference draws on the multidisciplinary strengths of University of Iowa driving safety and human factors researchers in the fields of engineering, medicine, public health, computer science, psychology, public policy and driving simulation. Organizers say the symposium will also inspire new international research on cognition, driving behavior and safety interventions in healthy and medically impaired drivers. These topics are highly relevant to entities such as the U.S. Department of Transportation, the automotive industry and the American Medical Association (AMA).

General Motors Corporation is the lead symposium sponsor. Other principal sponsors include the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Honda, Nissan and Motorola. The meeting is also sponsored by the UI Colleges of Engineering, Medicine, Public Health (Injury Prevention Research Center), Center for Computer Aided Design, Office of the Vice President for Research and Office of Corporate Partnerships.

Scott Geisler, General Motors (GM) human factors engineer and presenter at the symposium, said his company is pleased to support the event.

"As the world's largest vehicle manufacturer, GM is dedicated to improving vehicle safety and driver performance," said Geisler. "For this reason, we are happy to be a sponsor of this year's symposium and hope that it will serve as a catalyst to spark new ideas and understanding surrounding the issues of driver distraction and performance."

A new principal sponsor, Honda R&D Americas, Inc., will fund three Honda Outstanding Student Paper Awards.

"Safety issues have always remained essential to Honda's vehicle development, and human factors has played a significant role in those activities," said Charles Allen, senior vice president and general manager, Honda R & D Americas. "It is a privilege and honor for us to partner with the University of Iowa in recognizing outstanding student researchers at this year's Driving Assessment Symposium. Their ideas and innovative approaches will help to improve the driving experience for all of us, and through their work, we can truly make our lives better."

The forthcoming meeting and the highly successful inaugural session, held in 2001 in Aspen, Colorado, were organized in the UI College of Engineering, department of mechanical and industrial engineering by Associate Professor John D. Lee, director of the Cognitive Systems Laboratory; at the UI Public Policy Center by Daniel V. McGehee, director, Human Factors and Vehicle Safety Research; and in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, department of neurology by Professor Matthew Rizzo, director, Division of Neuroergonomics.

Further information on the symposium may be found at:

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 301, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, Writer, 319-384-0009,