The project has three complementary objectives:
1. To identify those aspects of the driving task which present problems to elderly and disabled drivers;
2. To evaluate ATT systems which could alleviate those problems, using both simulation and in-vehicle tests; and
3. To make recommendations on the required standards for the functional performance of these ATT systems, for their integration into vehicles, and for the necessary attributes of the man-machine interface.
The initial part of the project involves field work and technical assessment. The former will be used to identify the needs of elderly and disabled drivers on such matters as route finding, negotiating complex junctions, and responding to emergency situations. The latter will compromise assessment of the technical feasibility of ATT systems which could meet the drivers' needs, including review of system specifications, design and development of hardware and software, and integration of ATT units into vehicles.
The second and main part of the project will be based on simulation and in-vehicle driving tests. Evaluation of the ATT systems will be based on measures of ease of driving including reduced fatigue, usability of the equipment, and safety of driving. It will take into account cognitive performance, speed of reaction, attention to peripheral events, visual acuity and hearing, all of which tend to deteriorate with increasing age. This part of the work will also include the development of a training programme for elderly and disabled drivers, based on the simulation and in-vehicle testing, and validated by a pilot training programme.
The work will :
identify the ATT systems which meet elderly and disabled drivers' needs;
determine the most effective way in which information can be presented to drivers;
estimate the effects, including the prolongation in the number of years during which it is likely that elderly and disabled drivers could continue to drive safely; and
develop a training programme which makes it possible for elderly and disabled drivers to obtain maximum benefits from ATT.
identification of elderly and disabled drivers' needs;
evaluation of ATT systems relevant to those needs, particularly safety;
investigation of man-machine interface;
recommendations on design and performance standards for the ATT systems; and
development of a training programme for elderly and disabled drivers.
Over the next 18 months the project plans to evaluate the following ATT systems:
reversing aid (low-speed obstacle detection system)
emergency alert system with GPS
route guidance systems [CARMINAT, CARIN and Travelpilot]
road junction MMI for ATT providing the driver with warning/advice when turning across on-coming traffic
provision in-vehicle of road side traffic information (speed limits, traffic signs, pedestrian crossings etc)
In addition to these, EDDIT will develop a training system for elderly drivers that should be capable of improving their ability to use and benefit from ATT systems.
From existing data it is known that elderly drivers, particularly the very old, have a higher accident rate than most other types of drivers. It is also known that many elderly drivers self-regulate their driving, for example by driving only in daylight or on roads with which they are familiar. The application of appropriate ATT systems could enhance the mobility of elderly drivers, improve their safety and make driving less fatiguing.
Contribution to standardization
It is anticipated that EDDIT will contribute to standards for ergonomics applicable to road vehicles (ISO TC 22SC 13) and information technology (CEN IT T122 and T251).
SS15 6EE Basildon
MK14 6LA Milton Keynes
RG11 6AU Crowthorne
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