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General Motors uses "Take your Child to Work Day" to Research Vehicle Useability

Published May 12th 2014, 7:22pm by Patty Streeter in Featured Articles

Buick_Enclave-Human_FactorsAs part of an effort to continually improve the way customers interact with vehicles, the Human Factors group conducts about 100 studies globally each year, including some with younger subjects who come to check out Mom and Dad’s workplace.

“Working with children on Take Your Child to Work Day is an excellent way for us to expand our pool of feedback,” said Don Shreves, GM Human Factors engineering group manager.

Each year, Take Your Child to Work Day gives Shreves’ team an opportunity to evaluate how children of varying ages and sizes intermingle with vehicles, allowing better tailoring of Buick products for the entire family.

“Our group and research is very data-driven,” he said. “Designing every element to a vehicle comes down to millimeters. While a door handle placement or seat switch might feel right to the designing engineer, we come in with data points from real consumer feedback, including kids, to help determine the best location.”

Buick_Enclave-Human_FactorsThis year during Take Your Child to Work Day, the Usability team within the Human Factors group conducted a study looking at the Enclave’s third-row safety belt buckles. Testing buckles that have various angles and stiffness, kids were asked to use smiley faces to compare and rate the ease of fastening the safety belt based on a five-point scale.

Previous Take Your Child to Work Day studies included “the puke zone,” a measurement to determine ideal placement of the DVD screen to reduce motion sickness and enhance viewing. 

(Click here to learn more about how General Motors used children to research “The Puke Zone” and curb motion sickness.)

 

(Photo caption, TOP: General Motors Restraints Engineer for Advanced Vehicles Matt Gohlke (left), records the time it took Urwah Khan, 6, to fasten her seat belt during Human Factors testing in the Buick Enclave during the General Motors Annual Kids Day event Thursday, April 24, 2014 at the General Motors Tech Center in Warren, Michigan.

Photo caption, BOTTOM: Julia Livedoti, 8, fastens her seat belt as part of General Motors' Human Factors testing. As part of an effort to continually improve the way customers interact with vehicles, the Human Factors group conducts about 100 studies globally each year, including some with younger subjects who come to check out Mom and Dad’s workplace. Julia's father Dominic Livedoti works in the GM Service Operations Building at the Tech Center. Photos by Jeffrey Sauger for Buick)


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