Panel Hosts

ddi panelist

Supporting Driver Attention Holistically: Perspectives from the AHEAD Consortium

Bryan Reimer, Ph.D. Research Scientist, MIT AgeLab.

Since the current driver distraction guidelines were developed, the scientific understanding of glance behavior, attention threading, situation awareness, the role of driving context, and other related topics has advanced, based to a significant extent on naturalistic driving research. In addition, vehicle systems have progressed with new forms of external and internal sensing, increased computational capabilities, better screens, greater integration of multi-modal interfaces, driver monitoring, and driver feedback systems. A panel discussion will summarize relevant research and a new conceptual approach for addressing attention management through system design and driver support being developed by the Advanced Human Factors Evaluator for Automotive Demand (AHEAD) consortium. The premise is to build upon existing work, introduce attention centric design, and, in real-time, assess whether drivers are paying sufficient attention for the current situation. The aim is to leverage technology to promote the rebuilding of situationally relevant knowledge and readiness to respond.

The panel dialogue will be hosted by Bryan Reimer, Ph.D. Research Scientist, MIT AgeLab.

Dr. Reimer is the founder and co-director of AgeLab’s Advanced Vehicle Technology (AVT) Consortium and Advanced Human Factors Evaluator for Attentional Demand (AHEAD) consortium. He collaborates with industries worldwide on the topics of driver safety, vehicle automation, and other technological concerns related to human factors and Artificial Intelligence. In addition to his work with students and a multi-disciplinary team at MIT, he is a research advisory board member for Autoliv, former advisor to Affectiva, and an active consultant to the automotive and entrepreneurial community. In 2024, Dr. Reimer was appointed by U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttegieg to the Department of Transportation’s Transforming Transportation Advisory Committee (TTAC), a 27-member team of experts and advocates from academia, local government, industry, and the labor sector, to provide advice on plans and approaches for transportation innovation. He is a Contributor to Forbes and regularly featured in the press as a mobility futurist and as an expert in automotive safety. A seasoned conference and event presenter, Reimer has provided keynote addresses on the topics of driver attention and vehicle automation. In his 2018 TEDx talk, “There’s more to the safety of driverless cars than AI”, he discusses the undertreated health crisis on our roads and the limits of focusing on automation alone as a solution. He suggests that the modernization and automation of our mobility ecosystem will require increased transparency and collaboration between the public and private sectors to enhance consumer trust and make vehicle automation the most critical life-saving technology of the century.

Linda Angell is Angell is President and Principal Scientist at Touchstone Evaluations, a human factors research firm. She has worked for 45 years in both industry and academic settings and works to improve the way that humans and technology work together within systems – specializing in the area of driver attention and safety.

Bruce Mehler is a Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab. He has an extensive background in the development and application of non-invasive physiological monitoring technologies and research interests in workload assessment, individual differences in response to cognitive demand and stress, and in how individuals adapt to new technologies and user interfaces.

Dr. Lee Skrypchuk is a Senior Technical Specialist for Human Machine Interface. In his role at JLR, Lee works closely with the product development teams looking at how to design appropriate interface systems for the vehicle environment following a Human Centred Design approach.

Steven Feit is a Chief Engineer with over 20 years of industry experience with Honda Development & Manufacturing, LLC, where he currently specializes in Human Machine Interaction and User Experience research.

Gregory M. Fitch is the Head of Safety and UX Research for Android Auto, Google. His work provides a perspective on how automotive infotainment systems can be designed to mitigate driver distraction using new technology available in vehicles today.

Alexandria M. Noble is a Senior User Interface Safety Lead at CARIAD, Inc. As part of the panel, she will discuss how we can leverage the lessons of the past to minimize driver distraction and keep the driver’s attention on the road.


Overcoming the Distraction Challenge through a Multidimensional Approach


Dr. David Yang, President and Executive Director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, will host a panel session titled “Overcoming the Distraction Challenge through a Multidimensional Approach” at DDI2024. This engaging panel will delve into practical implementations and insights from regions with distracted driving legislation. Attendees will hear from key stakeholders e.g. legislators, activists, law enforcement officials, and others about the successes and challenges faced in reducing driver distraction in the US.

Join us to gain valuable perspectives on improving road safety and learn about innovative strategies to tackle the ongoing issue of driver distraction.

Dr. C. Y. David Yang is the President and the Executive Director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Dr. Yang has co-authored numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, conference papers, and research reports on subjects related to vehicle technologies and automation, traffic safety, operations, and planning. An ITE Journal article he co-authored won Institute of Transportation Engineers’ 2015 Traffic Engineering Council Best Paper Award. He is an associate editor for the Journal of Intelligent Transportation Systems: Technology, Planning, and Operations and a member of the editorial board for the International Journal of Transportation Science and Technology. In addition, Dr. Yang serves on the Transportation Research Board’s Committee on Transitioning Evidence-Based Research into Practice and Research and Technology Coordinating Committee. He is also an advisory board member for a number of university transportation research centers.

Dr. Yang attended Purdue University and received his Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in the field of civil engineering. In 2018, he was honored with the Civil Engineering Alumni Achievement Award from Purdue University.

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