New technology may help seniors drive

April 24, 2012 12:00 AM

The Intelligent Transport team at Newcastle University has been conducting studies in order to find out exactly what gives seniors trouble when they're out on the road.

A unique electric vehicle referred to as "DriveLAB" is outfitted with new technology that can detect stress levels, reaction time and eye movement. Researchers at the school are using the data in order to develop new technology that may eventually find its way to new cars. For example, seniors may appreciate a "smart" speed adjuster that helps ensure they aren't going too slow or too fast.

"For many older people, particularly those living alone or in rural areas, driving is essential for maintaining their independence, giving them the freedom to get out and about without having to rely on others," said lead researcher Phil Blythe. "But we all have to accept that as we get older our reactions slow down and this often results in people avoiding any potentially challenging driving conditions and losing confidence in their driving skills."

Many seniors struggle with driving, but there's no need to worry about the interior workings of a car as well. Those who keep up with their scheduled maintenance can ensure that their car is free of auto repairs or dangerous problems that could an accident.

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