As part of the visit Lee saw our driving simulator lab, and we had a chance to discuss with him a number of projects, including work on a UNH ECE senior project that deals with personal navigation devices. Following this, Lee introduced us to the work of DOE’s Vehicle Technology Program. Three points from the presentation really resonated with me:
- Interoperability is a problem. As we have found in our work on in-vehicle devices for police cruisers (Project54) , and as many UNH ECE students find in working at UNH’s IOL, many devices are not designed with interoperability in mind. This is also true of the different devices people use to charge batteries in vehicles.
- Simulation can help focus R&D efforts. Our work on augmented reality personal navigation devices is a good example of using (driving) simulation to explore the value of an idea that is not yet technologically feasible (at least not with a reasonable price tag) . DOE explores a number of technologies in simulation before committing to developing and testing hardware.
- Green racing can move automotive technology forward. Innovations used in car racing used to be transferable to consumer vehicles. This is almost never the case any more. Green racing is trying to change this: the green technologies that can win races can also provide improvements for everyday vehicles.
Here’s a photo of Lee discussing his ideas with us in the lab. For more photos see Flickr.
 Andrew L. Kun, W. Thomas Miller, III and William H. Lenharth, “Computers in police cruisers,” IEEE Pervasive Computing, Vol. 3, Issue 4, pp.: 34 – 41, Oct.-Dec. 2004
 Zeljko Medenica, Andrew L. Kun, Tim Paek, Oskar Palinko, “Augmented Reality vs. Street Views: A Driving Simulator Study Comparing Two Emerging Navigation Aids,” MobileHCI 2011