A new technology aims to help older drivers stay on the road for longer, using pictures of mail boxes or restaurants as visual turning cues. The tool, which has been nicknamed “the Granny Nav” is being investigated as a part of the UK’s Research Council efforts to help facilitate safe driving among the elderly. According to a press release, Professor Phil Blythe stated that “For many older people, particularly those living alone or in rural areas, driving is essential for maintaining their independence.” The technology is a part of an effort to examine whether people could continue to drive safely when given technological supports to overcome decreased reaction time that is a normal part of ageing.  To figure out the best ways to help keep older people on the road, the Intelligent Transport team at Newcastle University converted an electric car into a mobile laboratory called DriveLAB.  Using tracking sensors, motion monitors, and bio-monitors, researchers are able to document response times and processes among older drivers. Preliminary findings suggest that use of advanced external cues can help older drivers prepare for and properly execute driving maneuvers. The research will be presented at an Aging, Mobility and Quality of Life conference in Michigan, USA in June.

Photo courtesy of jamelah

Advertisements