You won’t see carmakers bragging about it on their TV commercials, but the Texas A&M Transportation Conference in San Antonio was told on Tuesday that as the nation’s huge Baby Boomer population ages, all of the big automakers are quietly adding refinements to their vehicles to make driving easier for elderly motorists, 1200 WOAI’s Michael Board reports.
David E. Eby, Head of the Behavioral Sciences Group at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute said many of the improvements will operate ‘in the background’ but will take into consideration failing eyesight and slower reflexes, as well as the deteriorating physical condition of older drivers.
“It can be simple technologies like swivel seats, which can help people get in and out without injuring themselves,” Eby said.
He says this is an example of the manufacturers ‘knowing their market’ and quietly but effectively conforming to it.
“One fifth of the drivers in about 20 years are going to be age 65 and above, and they’re still going to be driving. So, yes, I think they understand their market.”
Eby says other items built for older drivers include devices that take note if the driver is distracted and helps the driver refocus on the road, as well as equipment to help drivers deal with problems ranging from too much noise to bad weather.