Tele-Assess - Foresight Vehicle Driver Assistance for the Elderly, Disabled and Able-Bodied 2002-01-1123
The aim of this research programme is to promote equal mobility and enhance quality of life among the non-standard driving population by enabling them to sustain their independent mobility in an acceptable and dignified manner. In particular, by bringing driver capability assessment to point of sale in the vehicle purchase process for all drivers, the project vision seeks to alleviate the stigma, cost and inconvenience associated with ‘specialist’ adaptations by matching capability requirements to assistive devices at point of sale. In this way driver capability measurement becomes the norm for all drivers and the recommendations for assistive devices is capability or preference-driven rather than assumed by some vague stigmatising label (e.g. ‘elderly’ or ‘arthritic’). In order to meet this vision, there are additional implications for the vehicle manufacturing process if the purchaser is to take delivery of a customised vehicle matched to their needs and preferences in the same sort of time and cost currently associated with delivery times and costs for standard vehicles ‘customised’ with optional systems.
Tele-Assess has extensively surveyed driver abilities, measurement methods and the range of assistive systems (both physical and telematic) that could support driver needs. These surveys have been used to inform the development of a research rig for driver assessment and to create a prototypical database to match driver ability to assistive system. Experimental work focused on a sample driver task i.e. ‘route navigation’ which revealed some interesting observations about individual differences in ability and preference and considered implications for how these different needs and preferences might be supported.