Older drivers required for technology trial

11.27 | 5 January 2018 | | 2 comments

A technology company is looking for 500 drivers over the age of 65 years to take part in a new research project designed to help elderly drivers stay on the road safely for longer.

The volunteers, who need to be based in the north west of England, will participate in a project to 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.

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.

Stuart Millward, Satsafe CEO, said: “Maintaining our independence and mobility for as long as possible is important to so many of us, but safety can be a concern for all involved.  

“We are really looking forward to working with our volunteers to trial our technology and help develop additional features that will provide real benefit and peace of mind to themselves and family members.  

“Ultimately we want to enable people to stay mobile for as long as possible, while it is safe for them to do so.

“The key here is early intervention – notifying families when a parent’s driving habits have changed, which may just indicate that an eye test is needed, could save lives, but can also provide reassurance if there is concern about the onset of dementia, which could impair driving ability. ”

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 current 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 demonstrating the societal, commercial and environmental benefits of its in-vehicle technologies across different vulnerable groups: young drivers, taxi and minibu drivers, and senior drivers.

This important senior driver research is a spin-out of the Manchester project across the North West and beyond, and Satsafe’s founder Stuart Millward is grateful for the support received from Innovate UK, the Science and Technology Facilities Council and the European Space Agency whose funding and technical support has helped bring this technology to market.


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    Dear Bob,

    Thank you for your warm comments which were welcomed by me and my team.

    I do agree with you that it can seem unfair that insurance premiums do start to rise each year as one advances in years but the research conducted by Ageas – one of the UK’s leading insurers for drivers over 50, highlighted in a recent report, “We spotted from our claims data that older drivers, (over 75s), became less safe as the years went by and, considering they drive fewer miles, became involved in more really serious crashes than middle-aged drivers. Often accidents involved vulnerable road users like pedestrians, cyclists, or motorcyclists. We could see this could be a concern, to wider society as well as us as an insurer”.

    The result of the ‘Supporting Safe Driving into Old Age’ report was remarkable. Drawing in a wide-range of talent and experts from across many sectors the Older Driver Task Force undertook a detailed, evidence-based approach to its work. It means that for the first time we have a real understanding of older drivers, their needs and what proportionate action can be taken to make sure they remain safe on our roads, later in life. Please do feel free to download the full report here: http://roadsafetyfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/modsfl.pdf

    The Satsafe Road Safety Programme for Seniors is hoping to build on this work and specifically, some of the recommendations in the report that make reference to technology being deployed in order to assist in the wider understanding of driver behaviour and risk management.

    Thanks again for your interest in Satsafe and I am delighted to report also that due to the considerable, Nationwide interest we have received from Universities, road safety organisations and Local Authorities, we have decided to roll out our work across the whole of the UK.

    Thanks again for your interest and we look forward to welcoming all participants and research partners to the programme in the coming months.

    Kind regards,

    Stuart Millward
    Founder/CEO – Satsafe Limited

    Stuart Millward, Manchester
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    I am glad that at least one company is looking at the plight of old drivers. It’s been made apparent that insurance companies add monies onto the policy prices as apparently drivers over the age of 70 years are a greater danger or are more vulnerable on our roads. I don’t know if that is born out by stats at all but like younger drivers under 24 years old if a machine or black box can be employed in order to discern whether or not a particular driver is a good safe one or otherwise then to my mind that could only be a good idea. Particularly if the device can possibly help identify an early health problem or other possible concerns that would or could inevitably increase the danger that elderly drivers face.

    bob craven
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