When we get older, our bodies do not seem to work in the way they used to, as bits and pieces start to break down. With worsening vision and slower reflexes, driving also gets more dangerous, and Intelligent Transport team at Newcastle University, UK have decided to transform an electric vehicle into a mobile laboratory that will monitor the driver’s concentration, stress levels and driving habits so that new technologies can be developed in order to support elderly drivers. Known as ‘DriveLAB’, this particular vehicle boasts tracking systems, eye trackers and bio-monitors which intends to further the study of identifying just where the key stress points are in older drivers are.
Professor Phil Blythe leads this Newcastle team who intend to introduce in-vehicle technologies down the road for older drivers which, in turn, is hoped to be able to help them drive even when they are advanced in age. Some of the technologies include (but are not comprehensive) bespoke navigation tools, night vision systems and intelligent speed adaptations.
There is also a biological ‘tool’ that will help transport the elderly from Point A to Point B in a safe manner – one called kids and grandkids, but those can be volatile as well, and might just induce heart palpitations due to the speed that they drive! [Press Release]