A research project designed to help elderly drivers stay on the road safely for longer is to be extended to cover the whole of the UK.
The technology company behind the project, Satsafe, originally planned to carry out the research in north west England, but following a ‘tremendous response’ is now looking for drivers over the age of 65 years from across the UK to take part in in the trial.
The volunteers will help test a new driver monitoring system developed by Satsafe that can detect changes in an individual’s driving pattern that could indicate, for example, deterioration in eyesight or reaction times.
Stuart Millward, CEO of Satsafe, said: “We have had a tremendous response to this initiative and I am delighted to announce that we are extending the programme across the whole of the UK.
“We have received responses from potential participants from every possible road type – rural Lancashire and Cumbria to inner city roads of Manchester and Liverpool.
“The support we have received from the road safety community – including Road Safety GB, RoSPA, IAM RoadSmart, Highways England and many local authorities – has been almost overwhelming.”
Combining black box technology and dash cameras with data analytics, Satsafe’s ‘Telematicam’ is described as a ‘plug and play innovation that provides safety and security benefit to users and their families’.
Tiny ‘ultra-sensitive’ sensors built in to the system form an accurate picture of how safely a car is being driven, gathering information on acceleration, braking and cornering forces as well harsh braking events at junctions which, according to Satsafe, can be an early indicator of failing eyesight.
Satsafe says the technology can also protect a driver who had been driving safely when a collision has taken place, providing confirmation that they weren’t speeding or driving erratically at the time.
Road safety professionals wanting to know more about the project, and older drivers who are interested in volunteering to participate in the trial, should contact Satsafe by email.
Satsafe and CityVerve
Satsafe is a partner in the UK’s £15m city demonstrator project for the ‘Internet of Things’ – CityVerve which is based in Manchester.
Following Satsafe’s successful completion of the European Space Agency Business Incubation Programme, the company is now lead partner for the connected vehicle and road safety work package within CityVerve, through which it is setting out to demonstrate the societal, commercial and environmental benefits of in-vehicle technologies across different vulnerable groups: young drivers, taxi and minibus drivers, and senior drivers.
The senior driver research is a spin-out of CityVerve and is supported by Innovate UK, the Science and Technology Facilities Council and the European Space Agency whose funding and technical support has helped bring the technology to market.