University of Michigan Partnering Hyundai and Kia to Study "Highway Hypnosis" While Kia Hamsters Go on a Diet

By Trevor Dorchies | August 23, 2013
You read that headline right. No word yet on if there's a correlation between the two, but we'll focus on the more important one, first. The University of Michigan has partnered with Hyundai and Kia to study highway hypnosis, which occurs in drivers who drive long distances without remembering that they did so. Engineers from Hyundai and Kia as well as graduate students and professors from the University of Michigan will measure driver brainwaves by using electroencephalograph sensors. These sensors are able to detect when a driver begins to get drowsy and have been programmed to perk the driver up through audible and physical alerts. Currently, detecting how drowsy a driver gets during a long drive is determined by monitoring changes in their head position and the amount of times they blink their eyelids. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 3,331 fatalities occurred in 2011 as a result of distracted driving. On top of that, the NHTSA estimates an additional 387,000 people were injured because of distracted driving. Hyundai and Kia engineers along with graduate students and professors from the University of Michigan are also going to look at ways to boost fuel economy by using a dual pre-chamber lean-burn combustion system. The focal point of this portion of the study will be on the combustion chamber and piston dome geometry development while studying in-cylinder flows. Then there's those pesky polarizing hamsters Kia has been using as a mascot over the past few years. In their latest appearance, all three rodents hit the gym to drop some weight while listening to Lady Gaga's latest song, "Applause." Since we had to watch it, we're not going to let you off the hook that easily, so check it out below and make a decision for yourself. Are the hamsters working out to Lady Gaga's new song? Or are they just weird? We vote the latter.
Source: The Detroit News, Kia