Safety Starts With 'Hands On The Wheel And Eyes On The Road'

         Safety Starts With 'Hands On The Wheel And Eyes On The Road'  Takata research explores new solutions to help ensure driver and passenger safety with the increasing adoption of technology in the automobile  PR Newswire  AUBURN HILLS, Mich., April 9, 2014  AUBURN HILLS, Mich., April 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --Takata, a leading global supplier of automotive safety systems, is advancing the exploration of how best to keep drivers and their passengers safe as the automotive industry adopts increased innovations and technology inside their automobiles. Today, at the SAE World Conference in Detroit, MI, findings from a paper titled In-vehicle Touchscreen Concepts Revisited: Approaches and Possibilities were presented and discussed among some of the world's top engineers.  "With technology comes an increasing responsibility to keep drivers and their passengers safe," said Rob Fisher, Executive Vice President of Takata Corporation's North American Subsidiary, TK Holdings, Inc. "At Takata, we take that responsibility seriously. Safety is our business."  Capacitive touchscreens and haptic feedback may not be words used every day by consumers and drivers alike. Yet the technology behind such platforms has become part of daily life as smartphones and tablets become increasingly ubiquitous. That is now true for the automotive sector as well. In recent years drivers have seen a significant uptick in adoption of such technologies in cars being delivered to market. These innovations are no longer reserved for premium vehicles meaning more and more drivers are grappling with interactive consoles and touchscreen technology as they drive. But what hasn't changed is the need for drivers to adhere to the most basic – and important elements of safety, keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes focused on the road and environment around them.  This level of connectivity serves a purpose but can also be a problem, particularly in regard to driver distraction. This is the premise explored in the paper released today by Takata. The paper asserts that from an automobile perspective, capacitive touchscreens have certain drawbacks in their distraction potential as well as their usability, leading to safety-critical situations.  "Consumer electronics interactions are designed for them being a primary activity, with no attention needed for another task," said Jason Lisseman, Global Engineering Director at Takata. "Contrast that in the automotive domain, where the primary task must be driving with attention to the road being the highest priority. We are exploring solutions that give the user, or the driver, the opportunity to enjoy innovation without compromising their safety while behind the wheel."  The paper presents a problem-driven approach toward touch input and a range of technical solutions possibilities. The focus lies on the generation of a holistic touch experience: auditory, visual, and haptic feedbacks are combined with accurate force sensing for activation and deactivation. The research allows for an overview over previous subjective and objective user research on force-sensing technologies. Additionally, the reader will be provided with applications that are able to fulfill the user needs of different vehicle classes. Although different in design, all applications aim at a common goal: maximizing driver safety, minimizing distraction and frustration and enhancing the driver experience.  Participants at the SAE World Congress agreed that Takata's work is compelling in that it explores problems and solutions when it comes to drivers utilizing modern technology while also staying vigilant to the highest standards in safe driving. Lisseman added that "the findings are extremely important and valuable to driving a process that helps the industry adopt new technology while keeping its primary focus on what are truly important, decreasing accidents and fatalities on the world's roadways."  "Consumers around the world have welcomed the synergy between advances in consumer electronics and innovations that have resulted in the automotive industry," Fisher concluded. "Takata is a company that has constantly innovated and adapted to changes in the marketplace but one thing that has not changed within our culture is our adherence to the highest levels of safety."  Takata Corporation ("Takata") is a leading global supplier of automotive safety systems, (products include steering wheels, airbag systems, seat belts, electronics, sensors, interior trim, child restraint systems) and supplies all major automotive manufacturers in the world. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, it operates 56 plants in 20 countries with more than 36,000 employees (as of March 2013; I need to update this).  SOURCE Takata Corporation  Website: http://www.takata.com Contact: Alby M. Berman, TK Holdings, Inc., 248-364-5100, alby.berman@takata.com, www.takata.com  
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