Scientists Build Senior-Friendly Car in Hopes of Speeding Safety Improvements

The research team hopes future car technology could include technology could include sensors to eliminate blind spots and radar that warns drivers when they are close to other cars

By Sam Schulz
|  Monday, Apr 23, 2012  |  Updated 9:15 AM CDT
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Senior-Friendly Car Aims to Drive Safety Improvements

A team of British scientists has built a car they say could make driving much safer for the elderly and keep them driving safely for longer.

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British scientists have built a car they say will help keep older people driving longer and more safely.

Among the senior-friendly bells and whistles with which a team at Newcastle University's "Drivelab" outfitted a Peugeot were eye-tracking goggles, heart monitors and more, The Independent reported.

The idea, the researchers said, is to monitor drivers' concentration, stress and driving habits in the hopes of developing technology in the future that will make driving even safer for the elderly.

That technology could include sensors to eliminate blind spots, radar that warns drivers when they are close to another car, dashboard warning displays projected on the windshield, according to The Independent.

It could even mean a future of GPS in which directions are narrated with visual cues — like "turn right at the gas station" instead of "turn right in 800 feet."

"As we get older, our reactions slow down and this often results in people avoiding any potentially challenging driving condition and losing confidence in their driving skills," the project's head researcher, Phil Blythe, said.

It's crucial to keep older people driving safely and confidently so they remain mobile, independent and socially engaged in their later years, he added.

His team intends to present its findings in Michigan at a June conference on aging.

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