UMTRI en Will Ray LaHood's anti-distracted driving legacy endure? <p align="LEFT">Ray LaHood has seldom kept his opinions to himself.</p><p align="LEFT">The country's U.S. Secretary of Transportation since 2008, LaHood early established a reputation for bluntness and rattling cages.</p><p align="LEFT">After Toyota&nbsp;recalled millions of vehicles around the world for faulty floor mats that could entrap the gas pedal,&nbsp;LaHood&nbsp;advised people who owned Toyota cars to "park them" immediately and not drive them until the company fixed the problem.</p><p align="LEFT">He later distanced himself from the startling pronouncement.</p><p align="LEFT">LaHood also angered many a car company executive for attacking sophisticated car infotainment systems as too distracting.&nbsp; Those systems promise a new&nbsp;source of precious revenue for the automakers. Wed, 15 May 2013 14:48:58 +0000 Tracy Samilton 12575 at Will Ray LaHood's anti-distracted driving legacy endure? UMTRI launches website for Parents of Teen Drivers <p>A website is launching just in time to help parents monitor and improve winter driving skills for teen drivers.</p><p>The University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute is launching the site called &nbsp;<a href="">Safer Driving for Teens</a>.</p><p>Jean Shope serves as an associate director of UMTRI and says parents find it's worthwhile.&nbsp; “We do find that teens whose parents have used this program, and they’ve had an agreement, drive in a less risky manner…and in other studies certainly have less crashes.”</p> Fri, 21 Dec 2012 20:58:27 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 10499 at Brave new connected vehicle world launches at UMTRI this week (VIDEO) <p align="LEFT">The world's largest-ever test of connected vehicle technology got underway in Ann Arbor this week.</p><p align="LEFT">Experts predict that our cars will one day routinely "talk" to one another with wireless communication devices -- preventing huge numbers of traffic accidents.</p><p align="LEFT">Already, ordinary motorists have experienced driving with the devices on closed courses.&nbsp; One study was held last year at the Michigan International Speedway.&nbsp;</p><p align="LEFT">Now, in the next step, the technology is being tested under real-world conditions.&nbsp; By October, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI for short)&nbsp;plans to install some version of wireless car-to-car communication devices in nearly 3,000 people's cars, as well as on some city and school busses.</p><p align="LEFT">Traffic signal-to-car communication devices will be installed at&nbsp;numerous intersections; others will be mounted&nbsp;near&nbsp;potentially dangerous sections of roadway.</p><p align="LEFT">See a video of how the technology works:&nbsp;</p><p align="LEFT">&nbsp;</p><p align="LEFT">For a year, the motorists will&nbsp;travel their usual ways, occasionally crossing paths.</p><p align="LEFT">UMTRI will collect the data, which will eventually help researchers determine how well the technology works in real life.&nbsp;&nbsp; Researchers may be able to prove that a handful of accidents were averted.&nbsp;</p><p align="LEFT">But the real potential for the technology is when it is adopted on a wide scale, in millions of vehicles.</p><p align="LEFT">UMTRI Director Peter Sweatman thinks the potential to save lives is huge.</p><p align="LEFT">"Motor vehicle injuries and fatalities are the number one public health problem in this country -- I don't think people realize that," Sweatman says, standing in a big garage bay where technicians are installing the devices in study participants' cars.&nbsp;&nbsp;"Between the ages of 1 and 35 - that's the no. 1 cause of death!"</p><p align="LEFT"> Wed, 22 Aug 2012 15:34:26 +0000 Tracy Samilton 8763 at Brave new connected vehicle world launches at UMTRI this week (VIDEO)