OLDER DRIVERS AND ADAS: Which Systems Improve Road Safety?

In the coming decades, the number of older drivers that experiences difficulties in traffic as a result of functional limitations will strongly increase. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) could resolve some of these difficulties, by providing personal assistance in a road environment that does not always allow for the possibilities and limitations of the older road user. As a result, ADAS would extend the older adult's safe mobility as a driver.

The aim of this paper is to identify the driver tasks for which assistance is most desirable from a road safety perspective. It is assumed that the most promising ADAS in this respect are those that support the relative weaknesses of the older driver. ADAS should not take over the tasks the older driver is actually quite good at. To identify the strengths and weaknesses of the older driver, a literature review is conducted. Various theoretical perspectives are examined, among wich the human factors approach, cognitive psychology, and game theory. This results in a list of the relative weaknesses of the older driver. To further specify the kinds of support most needed, we look at the relation between the weaknesses identified, the problems that older drivers encounter in traffic as a result of these weaknesses, and the resulting number of crashes. This amounts to a shortlist of desired types of support.

Next, based on the available literature, relevant ADAS are discussed in terms of their availability, their effects on safety and the willingness of older drivers to use and buy them. One of the conclusions is that only very few of the types of support that are thought to be most beneficial to the safety of older drivers are provided by the ADAS that are currently available.

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