National award for University car safety technology partnership

Published: 30 November 2012

A partnership between scientists and a semiconductor manufacturer which aims to develop safety technology for cars has won a national award for innovation

A partnership between scientists at the University of Glasgow and a semiconductor manufacturer which aims to develop safety technology for cars has won a national award for innovation.

US-based company Freescale, which has a base in East Kilbride, received the 2012 NMI Award for R&D Achievement Advanced Driver Vehicle Integration for their Safety Enhancement (ADVISE) project received. The annual awards are presented by electronics trade organisation NMI at a ceremony in London.

FreescaleADVISE brings together Freescale with a team of engineers, computer scientists and psychologists from the University of Glasgow to develop in-vehicle systems to help drivers navigate the roads more safely. Projects currently underway include new technology to track the head movements and attention of drivers and experiments on the impact of mobile phone conversations on situational awareness.

Lecturer in Electronic and Nanoscale Engineering Dr Tim Drysdale, who is working with Freescale on image processing algorithms, said: “We’re very proud that our work with Freescale has been recognised at a national level. Although we’re still developing the technology, our work has huge potential to make the roads safer by providing drivers with critical information in an integrated and non-distracting manner. We’re looking forward to bringing products to market in the future.”

The other University of Glasgow researchers working with Freescale alongside Dr Drysdale are Professor Stephen Brewster Dr Paul Siebert, of the School of Computing Science, P and Professor Frank Pollick, of the School of Psychology.

Martin Burns, EMEA Director of Sales and UK Country Manager at Freescale Semiconductor, added: “We see that the requirement for improved safety in vehicles will drive the development of the connected car. This award is recognition of the commitment we’ve made in East Kilbride to building partnerships and pushing through innovation in this area.”

Derek Boyd, CEO of UK electronics trade organisation NMI, said: “1.2 million people are killed on the road each year and trends suggest this is set to become the world’s third biggest killer by 2020.  The shift towards the connected car is therefore essential and this collaboration between Freescale and Glasgow has produced exceptional advances.”

The NMI Award for R&D Achievement celebrates innovative R&D activity involving strong industry and academic collaboration and that has been completed within the last two years.  It demonstrates world-beating technology development with very high potential of being adopted by industry.

The awards promote practices conducive to the long-term health of the UK’s electronic systems community. This year saw the Awards’ 10th anniversary with the annual event was held on the 15th November at the exclusive Raddison Blu Portman hotel in London. 300 guests from throughout the UK and around the world attended and the celebrity speaker was the BBC’s Bill Turnbull.

For more information contact Ross Barker in the University of Glasgow Media Relations Office on 0141 330 8593 or email

Notes to Editors

The full list of winners at the 2012 NMI Awards is as follows

  • Innovation                                             Oxford Digital Limited
  • Innovation in Power Electronics              Supply Design Limited
  • Low Power Green Design                       ST Microelectronics
  • Manufacturing Site of the Year               International Rectifier
  • Manufacturing Supplier of the Year        Compugraphics International Limited
  • Product Excellence                               Wolfson Microelectronics
  • R&D Achievement                                 Freescale Semiconductor Inc
  • Semi360                                              XMOS
  • Skills, Training & Development               Raspberry Pi Foundation
  • UKESF Scholar of the Year                   Rares-Mihai Popa (Edinburgh University)
  • Young engineer of the year                    Kevin Moore (ST Microelectronics)

You can learn more on the School of Engineering's website: 

First published: 30 November 2012

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