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The Peggy Smedley Show

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Gregory Thomas, director of the Center for Design Research was interviewed on the Peggy Smedley Show March 12, 2013. Although the show was to cover a wide range of topics, it was limited to the future of the autonomous car and status of the connected car market. The CDR is currently conducting research in:

A new class of “Adaptive Information Displays (AID)” with emphasis on maximizing the amount of “eye-to-road” contact by the design of dashboard instrument clusters. Rather than a static display, car owners can modify to meet their need. Based on information hierarchy, the display becomes a modular composition developed by the car owner. Three various demographic groups all have a mix of similar/dissimilar needs. When you begin working with delivering information to the car, all connectivity discussions begins to overlap.

Recently we developed a proposal for the TRB that dealt with Emergency/warning sign/communications for tunnels. Although the proposal was mainly geared to development of new physical signs, the connected car became an important tool in communication. Consider the ability of cars closest to a blocked tunnel entrance, to relay the information back to those cars that have time to make alternate driving routes. It also could amplify the quality of information needed by EMS responders in regards to the severity and specifics of accidents.

The CDR is also looking at the communication (or lack off) technology in EMS Vehicles. Ambulances and Fire Trucks are patched together with a myriad of devices that even collectively fail to address the need of the driver and putting them in a distractive driving situation.

Research has always had a focus on safety and health and wellness delivery in the car. In the near future, the CDR will begin developing vehicles that will meet the needs of a changing medical profession and bring care to the home.

For more information or specifics on what the CDR is doing in transportation, please contact the director at: gthomas@ku.edu

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