Helping Older Drivers continue driving safer for longer

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: Civil Engineering and Geosciences

Abstract

The research explores: what problems older people experience with the ability to continue driving safely as they get older; identifying the technologies that could potentially assist them to continue driving; proof of concept trials; and also the quantification of the social and economic consequences of ceasing to drive.

Following a detailed analysis of the problems encountered two potential systems to assist older drivers have been researched in detail: a Sat Nav which meets the needs of older drivers and; Intelligent Speed Control system to assist older drivers to keep to the speed limit in urban areas.

Planned Impact

The UK is a car-dependant culture, where driving is important in maintaining social mobility representing independent living. For many senior members of the public, no longer being able to drive a car is one of the most devastating experiences associated with growing old. It can mean loss of independence and is often accompanied by decreased life satisfaction and loss of self-esteem and growing social isolation. Due to age-related functional decline in physical, visual and mental abilities, older drivers are more susceptible to distraction and find it more difficult to perform multi-tasking, for example understanding road signs and travel information delivered to them. Meanwhile retirement age in reflection of the changing demographic is expected to increase; however limited policies surrounding this issue with respect to transport in particular have been discussed.
The adoption of ITS technologies has the potential to provide aid and support not just to the ageing population but to society as a whole. While there are multiple applications of ITS to improve mobility and awareness of the public we have targeted the older demographic through the EPSRC funded Social inclusion in the digital economy (SiDE) project.
Through our research and involvement in the project we have identified numerous issues associated with more senior driver behaviour which can be aided and altered with the support of ITS. Our most recent research involved the projection of speed limit information onto a simulated head up display (HUD) inside the drivers' cabin thus allowing them to smoothly maintain the speed limit. Whilst this technology clearly has safety advantages it also helps address the pressing environmental issues faced in this age by reducing fuel consumption.

There are multiple benefits of improving a senior member of society's safety whilst driving a vehicle, specifically elderly people's continuous engagement with society through their improved mobility. The economic benefit is reflected by their contributions to taxes, both income based, through a longer working live and transport based, the cost of insuring, fuelling and maintaining an automotive. It is more difficult to place a financial figure upon the improvement of a person's quality of life, however by helping to keep elderly people active and mobile for longer it is anticipated that the total cost for social health care can be vastly reduced. We are currently quantifying these costs and benefits and have been discussing with the transport Select Committee the possibility of them gathering evidence on older drivers from a driving licence and insurance policy viewpoints.
There will be 50% more over 70's on the road within 20 years - it is a real societal issue. [1] As well as it is a key societal challenge, and if done correctly in an engaging way could have all sorts of level of impact. Insurance companies are particularly interested in exploring whether such systems could be used to lower insurance premiums for the over 65's if they voluntary choose to retrofit certain systems to their vehicle including Intelligent Speed Control (hence Select Committee's interest). Should be noted this involves the 'long list' of systems we identified, not just the two we have research in detail with the older participants to the study. Moreover SAGA are very interested in supporting further the research here and several high level meeting have taken place to explore this and in particular develop a facility of future research in this area.

[1] - http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/research/key-issues-for-the-new-parliament/value-for-money-in-public-services/the-ageing-population/
 
Description The findings are ongoing. it is essentially to engage with non-academic audiences about the research through the EPSRC 'telling tales of engagement' awards

Has now been applied to public transport journies too with major research funding from the Go-Ahead Group and SouthEast trains in 2016

We have led activities across Government to bring together the Industrial Strategy Grand Challenges on Future of Mobility and Ageing Society together to look at issues of Mobility for Older travellers. This is reflected in the FoM Urban Strategy published in 2019 and the FoM Rural Strategy which will be published later in 2020. This is also shaping key aspects of the Spending Review for specific Government Funding but also in shaping UKRI future research programmes in this area.
Exploitation Route We have engaged audiences at science festivals and public gatherings.

We have engaged the media with several BBC, Sky and ITV national television news reports on our findings.

We have engaged school children.

Been part of a major BBC documentary.

Being adapted to assess older peoples interaction and experience with Public Transport. Funded trials in 2016

Working with the National Centre for Aging on new project which is investigating older drivers and automated road transport systems in 2015/16

Published a technical guide on accessible technologies jointly with IET and ITS UK in 2016.

Several self-funded PhD students are helping to take this research forward

Have provided thought leadership in the Automated Driving area (with help from professional bodies such as the AA and the IET)

Have presented findings to the Parliamentary Transport select committee TWICE in 2014.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Transport

URL http://www.side.ac.uk/inclusive-transport
 
Description Influencing policy through evidence to Transport Select Committee The road safety charity BRAKE used our findings on driver distraction and our laboratory for the launch of their 2013 road safety campaign week in November (research shown on all major news channels included a visit to the BBC breakfast sofa. The work has been extended to measure in-vehicle distraction for the new UK trails on cooperative and automated driving in 2015. In addition utilising the eye tracking and bio belt technology similar trials are taking place in January to March 2016 to follow public transport users on their journeys on SouthEast Trails to assess customer experience and travel 'pinch-points' shaping the Grand Challenges on Future of Mobility and Ageing Society to support and ageing and mobility agenda which is also one of my priorities as Chief Scientific Adviser of Dft
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Transport
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description ATTRI (Accessible Transport Technology Research and Implementation)
Geographic Reach North America 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Participating in US DoT ATTRI programme and with meeting in October 2017 and January 2018 in WASHINGTON to discuss bi-lateral cooperation at Government level. Also in discussion with EPSRC and British Embassy in Washington about hosting a round table on ageing and accessibility at Washington Embassy in 2018
 
Description Age Friendly Cities
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
URL http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/POST-PN-0539
 
Description Ageing Society Grand Challenge - working to develop common offering with Future of Mobility Grand Challenge
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Implementation circular/rapid advice/letter to e.g. Ministry of Health
Impact Been leading work across Government on policy work and spending round funding on mobility and an ageing society - by bringing together the grand challenges on Future Mobility and ageing society. Very high levels - includes Ministerial buy-in
 
Description Appointed Chief Scientific Advisor for UK Department for Transport
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Ensuring the best science and technology evidence and advice is available to ministers and the department whenever policy and other decisions that involve science are involved. Through the CSA network coordinate a great deal of science activity across Government
 
Description Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (C CAV) Steering Committee
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Steering Committee to guide the activities of the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (which resides between the DfT and BEIS).
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/centre-for-connected-and-autonomous-vehicles
 
Description Chief Scientific Advisor, Department for Transport
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact I have been appointed Chief Scientific Advisor for Department of Transport (June 2015 - June 2018). This is a split role (60% DfT and 40% Newcastle University). As part of my CSA manifesto I am ensuring the most impactful way to bring the research areas I am interested in (funded by EPSRC) to support and inform the DfT challenges, particularly: Older Drivers Electric Vehicles ITS and human machine interaction Automated and cooperative systems
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/government-office-for-science/groups/chief-scientific-ad...
 
Description Evidence Research Strategies
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
 
Description Future of Mobility and Ageing
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Implementation circular/rapid advice/letter to e.g. Ministry of Health
Impact Working with different Government Departments and International partners (including US Department of Transportation and MIT Age Lab) to work on international cooperation on aging and mobility as part of the Industrial Strategy Grand Challenges on Future of Mobility and on Ageing Society.
 
Description Grand Challenge on Ageing
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Leading on the DfT's contribution to the definition of this Grand Challenge from a mobility perspective
 
Description Represented UK Government at Ministerial Round table on ITS at the Melbourne ITS World Congress
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Working with Ministers from across the world to coordinate actions and benefits from new ITS systems and services and open the markets for societal good
 
Description C-ITS: Investigating Infrastructure as a ServiceEPSRC and Seimens
Amount £87,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2017 
End 09/2021
 
Description Danger Level Assignment through User Eye Tracking
Amount £21,211 (GBP)
Funding ID KH164396 
Organisation IMRA Europe 
Sector Private
Country France
Start 12/2016 
End 03/2017
 
Description Investigating public transport experience
Amount £89,358 (GBP)
Funding ID RES/0544/7208 
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2015 
End 03/2016
 
Description Infrastructure as a Service 
Organisation Siemens AG
Country Germany 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Joint Doctoral Research
Collaborator Contribution Joint Doctoral Research
Impact Thesis and training
Start Year 2016
 
Description Technology to support older persons mobility 
Organisation Transport Systems Catapult
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Understanding the needs for older persons mobility and exploring the role LCV may play in the future
Collaborator Contribution Scoping Research Study
Impact Scoping Report
Start Year 2016
 
Description Improving Transport Connectivity Northern way 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Information dissemination and discussion of strategy. Feed into regional transport strategy and funding bids.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description BBC TV News Report on Measuring Driver Distraction - BBC BReakfast 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact This is research on the effects of mobile phones on driver distraction. This sued the techniques developed in the SiDE project and applied to this problem area to support the BRAKE charity Road Safety Week. BBC, Sky, CNN and ITV all recorded this - but this is the only one with a remaining URL link
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24982173
 
Description BBC TV News Report on Newcastles Older Drivers Research 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Based upon the SiDE Project research on technology to help older drivers continue driving for longer
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17785033
 
Description C-ITS and Automated Vehicles: Challenges and Opportunities 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Intelligent and Connected Vehicles (ICV 16), 2016 Chongqing, China: IET September
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description ERTICO - Future Transport Thinktank, Brussels 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Provided keynote at this high profile event on future of mobility and low carbon transport
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://ertico.com/tt-highlights/
 
Description EV innocation research dissemination 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Awareness on EV research innovation in Newcastle.

Delegation from British consulate to visit Newcastle.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Enigeering and smart city workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dissemination and discussion
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Evaluation of an Urban Cooperative Mobility Systems 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Intelligent Transport Systems European Congress. 2016, Glasgow, ERTICO, June
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description GO Science Policy Workshop on Future of Mobilitry 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Bring together cutting-edge academic research, industry expertise and policy making to consider the future transport landscape.

Planning a Foresight project on the Future of Mobility by Government Office for Science (GO Science)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
 
Description ITS Observatory 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Significant engagement and buy in to the Observatory. Agreement from over 100 authorities to provide input to the Observatory database and a commitment to be users of the ITSO and provide content and feedback on the prototype
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description ITS on your Doorstep 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Awareness of new ITS technologies ane examples as to how they have been used by other local authorities. Newcastle University and city presented EV charging infrastructure and Connected ITS Corridors
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Intelligent Transport Systmes to Reduce Energy Consumption 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Reducing Energy in Transport. 2016 Paris: International Energy Agency, May
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Invited Panelist in the Workshop at the 2017 Annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board of National Academies 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Awareness of the challenges regarding the future of grid coonected vehicles

Engagement of practitioners in public and private sectors

What was the most important impact of the activity?

Discussed the potential roles of policymakers, consumers, automakers, electric utilities and industry more broadly.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://sustainabletransport.ca/2017/01/31/visions-of-grid-connected-vehicles-what-is-the-goal-and-h...
 
Description Mobility as a Service - the Potential Rewards and Challenges from a UK Perspective 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact 24th Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress, Special Session SIS04: Regulation as an enabler for positive transportation change, Melbourne, Australia
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Oliver Heidrich presented to MIT, Boston 01 Dec 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact To present results and develop collaborations and raise the profile of LC Transforms
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Round Table with US Department of Transports Research and Innovation Division 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Round table in Washington in October 2017 to discuss cooperation between UK and US on ITS research and also accessible transport research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Science Innovation Network (UK Foriegn and Commonwealth Office) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Met with the Science Innovation Network teams from all major industries to discuss supporting them in the clean growth, green-tech and decarbonising transport and energy agenda.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Understanding the Potential for Big Data in Making Transport Services Smarter in Cities 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Lecture for Alan Turing Institute, London
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Year of Engineering Stakeholder Committee 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Supported the development of the year of engineering in 2016-2017. This was launched in November 2017 at Westminster with 7 ministers from four Departments present. Initated by DfT on request of Secretary of State. Long list of activities in 2018. Have showcased LC Transform and Ageing research at open events in London and Newcastle plus work with Professional Institutes and others.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.yearofengineering.gov.uk/about