General Motors and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) have joined forces in a multi-year program to study driver distractions and how well humans interact with in-vehicle technologies.GM Research & Development and Planning will spend more than $1.6 million the next three years so that Beckman researchers can seek ways to educate drivers on managing distractions while driving. Researchers are expected to evaluate how prepared drivers are in coping with distractions, as well as the dynamics of how effectively humans interact with the mechanics of a vehicle.General Motors has already addressed driver distraction through its “SenseAble driving” program. That program, which includes a driver awareness partnership with the Michigan Secretary of State, is in effect in all 173 Michigan Secretary of State offices. The program has been made available to other states' department of motor vehicle offices.Researchers will study programs aimed at modifying how drivers interact with their vehicles to reduce distracting activities, especially under adverse conditions. They also will evaluate the effectiveness of training strategies for enhancing drivers' cognitive, perceptual and motor skills, especially those of older adults and inexperienced drivers who may have difficulty with those skills.The research projects will run through 2004.Learn more about GM's "SenseAble driving" campaign at www.senseabledriving.com.