Thursday February 24, 2011 4:00-5:00 p.m.
ME-EM building, Room 112
Dr. John Cafeo
GM -Vehicle Development Research Lab
A critical need in designing a consumer product, like an automobile, is the use of credible
quantitative models early in the vehicle design process that quantify the risk of consumer
acceptance given a particular vehicle design. In order to quantify the risk, it is necessary
to be able to predict consumer assessments of a vehicle design as well as estimate the
probability a consumer will assess the design in the same way as the prediction. By
aggregating the risk, the vehicle development teams can logically and defensibly balance,
or tradeoff, the various design attributes and features in order to target a vehicle at the
desired population of customers.
In this talk, I will define this area of work and discuss the challenges in modeling a
perception of an attribute of the vehicle. An intertwined concept is human decision
making. I will discuss the large framework for decisions to help motivate the work. The
development of a model will necessary include a description of the product as well as a
description of the people. Currently, data for this type of model comes from consumer
clinics and surveys. Augmenting this data with anthropometric data as well as
physiological data may allow the estimation of a better model. Because gathering this
type of data is expensive, it is important to be able to use data from multiple events. I will
show an example of a model for head clearance to show one way this might be done.