GM’s OnStar Car Hero teaches teens how to drive while decreasing distractions
In a spin off of Guitar Hero and DJ Hero, General Motors will show its Car Hero video game at the 2009 LA Auto Show. The game is focused around getting young drivers educated while decreasing distracted driving risks.
“The interaction between driver and vehicle interface is intensively focused so outside distractions are reduced significantly, GM said in a statement. “This level of focus is a phenomenon that parents witness at home with their kids intense interaction with their games — when it takes three calls to dinner to finally get their attention.”
GM said that Car Hero was created to meet the LA Design Challenge’s Youth Mobile 2030 contest criteria. The challenge requires automakers to connect a generation of drivers age 16-23 accustomed to cell phones, web cams and social networks with a car of the future.
The winner of the LA Design Challenge will be announced Thursday.
GM’s OnStar Car Hero:
GM’s OnStar Car Hero “˜Games” Distracted Driving Solution for Teens
LOS ANGELES ““ Safe driving is anything but a game, but making the task of driving play out like a hot video game could be just the way to teach future drivers the on road skills they will need.
General Motors Advanced Design entered the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show”s Design Challenge with the OnStar Car Hero, a blue sky design featuring a vehicle which integrates a gaming environment that fosters driver education and decreases distracted driving risks. It’s based on an autonomous vehicle control system (AVCS) which provides constant feedback and correction while challenging the driver to higher levels of vehicle control and awareness.
The goal was to develop a driving solution for teens who increasingly aren’t interested in driving, or who enjoy the challenge of learning skills at their individual pace. The interaction between driver and vehicle interface is intensively focused so outside distractions are reduced significantly. This level of focus is a phenomenon that parents witness at home with their kids intense interaction with their games — when it takes three calls to dinner to finally get their attention. Realistically, this strong level of focus creates a stronger learning curve, increases their desire to improve and best their skill level all under the watchful guidance of the AVCS.
Car Hero was created to meet the LA Design Challenge’s Youth Mobile 2030 contest criteria: Connect a generation of drivers age 16-23 accustomed to cell phones, web cams and social networks with a car of the future. The Los Angeles Auto Show’s Design Challenge enlists the region’s automotive design studios ““ some 15 automakers have studios in the area ““ in a spirited competition of blue sky creativity.
Imagine a game which can actually teach a beginner to drive or challenge the experienced”¦ whether you”re a lowbie or a legend, Car Hero takes “getting there” to a whole new level while minimizing external distractions. It is a simple concept; just enter your destination into the navi app on your smart phone and the car takes care of the rest. It lets you “play along” and try to match the skill level of the system. As you progress, Car Hero “unlocks” vehicle control to the point where the autonomous system is overridden and you”re in complete control. It’s similar to starting a video game and mastering levels to gain access to harder tasks.
“This is where things get interesting,” said Steve Anderson, design manager of GM’s Los Angeles Advanced Design Studio. “As the gamer demonstrates skill and mastery, the vehicle’s “˜transmorphable” architecture creates an increasingly challenging driving experience.
“Car Hero’s configuration rewards your skills by gradually changing from a four, to three, to the ultimate challenge, a single-wheeled vehicle,” said Anderson, who worked on the concept with colleagues Thamer Hannona, Shawn Moghadam and Julius Bernardo.
The LA Design Challenge winner will be announced Thursday (Dec. 3).
– By: Kap Shah