Thursday July 18, 2019
Home Lead Story Self-driving ...

Self-driving Cars Can be a Potential Game-changer for Older Adults: Researchers

It was also found that older drivers tended to exhibit worse takeover quality in terms of operating the steering wheel, the accelerator and the brake, increasing the risk of an accident, Li added

0
//
Google's self-driving car. Flickr

Self-driving cars can be a potential game-changer for older adults aged above 60 and can help in minimizing the risk of accidents, say, researchers.

“There are several levels of automation, ranging from zero where the driver has complete control, through to level five where the car is in charge… this will allow the driver to be completely disengaged, they can sit back and watch a film, eat, even talk on the phone,” said Shuo Li from the Newcastle University in the UK.

“But, unlike level four or five, there are still some situations where the car would ask the driver to take back control and at that point, they need to be back in driving mode within a few seconds,” Li said.

For the study published in the journal Transportation Research, the researchers examined 76 volunteers, divided into two age groups (20-35 and 60-81), and studied the time it takes for older drivers to take back control of an automated car in different scenarios and also the quality of their driving in these different situations.

They experienced automated driving for a short period and were then asked to take back control of a highly automated car and avoid a stationary vehicle.

Uber, bengaluru
Toyota Motor Corp. recently invested $500 million in working with Uber on self-driving technology for the ride-hailing service.

It was found that in clear conditions, the quality of driving was good but the reaction time of older volunteers was significantly slower than the younger drivers. It took older drivers about 8.3 seconds to negotiate obstacles compared to around 7 seconds for the younger age group.

“At 60mph, that means older drivers would have needed an extra 35m warning distance – that’s equivalent to the length of 10 cars,” said Li.

Also Read: Ease in Local Sourcing Norms Big Boost for Firms Like Apple

It was also found that older drivers tended to exhibit worse takeover quality in terms of operating the steering wheel, the accelerator and the brake, increasing the risk of an accident, Li added.

The researchers concluded that fully automated cars which are unlikely to require a license and could negotiate bad weather and unfamiliar cities under all situations without input from the driver can be a potential game-changer for older adults and help in avoiding accidents. (IANS)

Next Story

Poor Sleep Quality Associated with Reduced Memory in Senior Citizens

The researchers said regular sleep was important for best cognitive performance at any age

0
sleep
Photo: www.myhousecallmd.com

Senior citizens, please take note. Lower sleep quality and variability in night sleep time may adversely affect your ability to recall past events, says a study.

The study, published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience journal, underscores the importance of sleep in maintaining good cognitive functioning.

The study divided participants in two categories: younger adults (18-37 years) and older adults (56-76 years). The participants were given wearable accelerometers to measure sleep duration and quality over seven nights.

“The night-to-night variability in older adults had a major impact on their performance in tests aimed at evaluating episodic memory,” said Audrey Duarte, Associate Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, the US.

old
“The more control older adults think they have, the younger they feel,” said study co-author Shevaun Neupert, Professor at North Carolina State University in the US. Pixabay

Stating that the association between sleep and memory has been known, Duarte said this study underlined the connection particularly among older adults and black participants.

Also Read: India Sold Over 204 mn WiFi Devices in 2018: Report

“We wanted to know how sleep affected memory, how well they remembered things and how well their brains functioned depending on how well they slept,” said Emily Hokett, a Ph.D student at the institute.

The researchers said regular sleep was important for best cognitive performance at any age. (IANS)