Operator-Vehicle Interfaces: Technology Challenges Today and Tomorrow (Panel)

Deborah M. Freund, FMCSA
Steve W. Hartwig, Delphi Corp.
Dave Stafford, Caterpillar Trimble Control Technologies

Moderator Deborah M. Freund Deborah M. Freund, FMCSA
Deborah M. (Debbie) Freund is a Senior Transportation Specialist with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Washington, DC. Her regulatory development responsibilities include safety of commercial vehicle parts and accessories, driver hours-of-service, and motor carrier operations and compliance issues. She has also developed and managed major research studies on driver fatigue and alertness and on new applications for vehicle sensor and communications technologies. In September 2001, Ms. Freund was designated the agency´┐Żs National Technical Expert for Vehicle Research.

Ms. Freund received her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and Master of Science, Transportation and Urban Systems, from Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.

She is a member of SAE, the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the Transportation Research Board. Her SAE activities include organizing and co-organizing many Commercial Vehicle Congress sessions, co-organizing the 2004 SAE Highway Vehicle Electronic Data Recorder Symposium, and chairing the CVEO Total Vehicle and Commercial Vehicle Maintenance Committees. She is a 2003 recipient of the Forest R. McFarland Award.


Myra Blanco Myra Blanco, Virginia Tech.
Dr. Blanco is the Group Leader for Safety & Human Factors Engineering under the Center for Truck & Bus Safety at VTTI. Her earlier work includes evaluation of the effects of in-vehicle information systems on the information processing demands, driving performance, and safety of commercial vehicle drivers. Dr. Blanco has developed pragmatic research on human factors issues for FMCSA, NHTSA, and FHWA as well as proprietary studies for OEMs and Tier1 suppliers. Her current research interests include usability, active safety warning systems, prioritization and integration, driving performance for innovative in-vehicle systems, and driver workload assessment methods.

Elizabeth Bracci Elizabeth Bracci, Fedex Corp.

  • Manager-Safety for FedEx Ground. I have been with the company for 17 years.
  • I have worked in the Safety Department since beginning my career with FedEx Ground. I have worked in each facet of the department to include:
    • Injuries, haz mat, drug testing, D.O.T. compliance and accident prevention. I developed and implemented the Random drug testing program for the company. I opened our Home Delivery division, which included developing and implementing the safety program, policies and procedures. I also did the same for our Smart Post division.
  • My current duties as Manager-Safety/Special Projects include:
    • Researching technology that will help maintain our safe fleet. Currently, I am working on deploying a pilot for paperless logs for our Linehaul operation.
    • Coordinating the state and national truck driving championships with our field organization.
    • Program manager for our in-house automated reporting system for vehicle fleet accidents; injuries and hazardous materials spill reports.
    • Manage all Safety Department Policy and Procedure updates.
    • Continual research to automate Safety processes.
      • Currently exploring options to automate driver qualification process.
  • Member of "Safe Driving Communities" for the Pittsburgh area.
  • New member of ATA's S&LPMC.
  • Currently reside in a Pittsburgh suburb.

William Dooley William Dooley, CNH America LLC
Kyle Dooley is the Human Factors Technical Specialist in Case New Holland's Cab and Operator Platform Competency Center. Located near Chicago, Kyle has been with CNH for almost 7 years.

Currently, he has global responsibility for the human-machine interface of the company's agricultural products, with frequent support of the construction equipment business also.

Prior to working with CNH, Kyle worked in a variety of challenging human factors settings including Formula 1 race car and Emergency Vehicle design.

Josef Loczi Josef Loczi, Freightliner LLC
Dr. Josef Loczi currently manages the Human Machine Interface and Interior Concept Development Department at Freightliner LLC, a DaimlerChrysler Corporation. Prior to joining Freightliner in 1997, he was employed at General Motors, responsible for occupant packaging and implementation and application of 3-D human modeling tools for product design and development.

Dr. Loczi completed his Ph.D. in Biomechanics from the University of Illinois in 1993. Since joining SAE and ISO he has been active in both national and international standards development activities related to Ergonomics and Human Factors and an active member on various SAE & ISO committees. In addition to his professional service work, Dr. Loczi has also published and presented numerous SAE papers, was a keynote speaker at the 2003 SAE Digital Human Modeling Conference and the recipient of the 2004 SAE McFarland Award.

Don Nehring Don Nehring, Fedex Corp.

  • He is currently an independent contractor for FedEx Ground in Memphis, TN.
  • Don Nehring has been a professional driver for 31 years and has accumulated over 3 million miles without an at-fault accident.
  • Don was selected as a Captain on America's Road team in 2000.
  • Don has been part of the selection process as a mentor for the last two America's Road Teams.
  • During his career, Don has received numerous honors, including the prestigious "ATA million Mile award."
  • Overdrive Magazine named him "Trucker of the Month" in March 2005.
  • He was named 2003 Tennessee "Driver of the Year."
  • He placed 1st in 2004 Tennessee Truck Driving Championships in the Straight Truck Class.
  • He placed 12th at the 2004 National Truck Driving Championships in Salt Lake City, UT.
  • He placed 1st at the 2005 Tennessee Truck Driving Championships in the Straight Truck Class
  • He placed 3rd in the Straight Truck Class at the 2005 National Truck Driving Championships Tampa, FL.
  • Don has served as President of Trucker Buddy International since 2003.
  • Don makes his home in Southaven, MS.

Tim Tometich Tim Tometich, McAninch Corp.
Tim is a graduate from Iowa State University in Construction Engineering. He has worked for the company as a Project Estimator/Manager and is currently in charge of GPS Machine control technologies.

Glenn R. Widmann Glenn R. Widmann, Delphi Electronics and Safety
Dr. Glenn R. Widmann, born January 8, 1957, is a Technical Fellow and Chief Engineer, Integrated Safety Systems, for Delphi Electronics & Safety at its Kokomo, Indiana operations. As a Fellow, he provides expert technical oversight & guidance in active safety systems to both advanced engineering and product teams. As chief engineer, integrated safety systems, Dr. Widmann is responsible for formulating the development and integration strategy between active and passive safety systems.

Dr. Widmann began his career with Delphi in 1991, focused on adapting complex aerospace technologies to automotive driver assistance programs, working with two business segments of Hughes Electronics Corporation, a subsidiary of General Motors. From 1991 to 1997, he was with Hughes Aircraft Company in California as a Senior Project Engineer, Senior Scientist and Department Manager. In 1997, Dr. Widmann joined Delco Electronics (now Delphi Electronics & Safety) as a Development Engineer. In 1999, he transferred to the Delphi Technical Center in Wuppertal, Germany, as the Forewarn™ Systems Manager.

In 2000, Dr. Widmann was named Chief Engineer, Integrated Safety Systems, at the Wuppertal Engineering Center. A year later, he transferred to the Brighton Technical Center in Michigan, in the same capacity. Dr. Widmann added the responsibilities of Technical Fellow in 2003. In 2005, he relocated to the Corporate Technology Center in Indiana.

Over the years, he has directed various research and development programs in the U.S., Europe and Japan, involving advanced system technologies for adaptive-cruise-control and active safety applications. Prior to starting his automotive career, Dr. Widmann held engineering positions with Hughes Aircraft Company; and a faculty position in electrical engineering at Colorado State University.

He earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Rutgers University, as well as both a master's degree and doctorate in electrical engineering from Purdue University.

Dr. Widmann has excelled in applied controls and signal processing for robotics and automotive systems. He has 3 patents, 7 patent-pendings, over 45 publications/presentations, and served as a program committee member for many international technical conferences. He is a member of IEEE, SAE and ASEE, and is listed in Who's Who in Engineering. Dr. Widmann was also a recipient of Delphi's Donald J. Almquist Extraordinary Achievement Award and was an elected expert for the ISO committee on establishing international standards for collision-avoidance technologies.