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How to Keep Aging Parents in The Driving Seat

August 17, 2015

Jack Tatar from the RetireMentors has detailed the advancements in new car's design and safety that can help your loved one's avoid the dreaded "talk" about restricting your ability to drive. Talking with your loved one or parent about protecting their own safety safety and the safety of others can be a significant blow to one's sense of freedom, independence, and pride.

Currently and in the coming years Car companies, such as Ford, have been working to develop new cars and features that will allow older drivers to drive safer and longer. With self-driving cars coming soon, it the meantime, Ford has developed features like "attention assists", "blind spot alerts", and rear view cameras, and an increased number of air bags, with improved safety in mind.

Ford hopes to innovate their features and designs even further with the aid of a "Third Age Suit" Sheryl Connley, in-house futurist for Ford, " We use what we call a "Third Age Suit" to mimic the experience of the older driver in order to understand how to improve their experience in our new cars".

The Third Age allows researchers, designers, and the actual driver an experience similar to that of an older driver.

The Suit:

Ford Third Age Suit

- Restricts Mobility - such as stiffening of the joints (elbows/knees)

- Gloves to understand how Senior's reduced sense of touch may impact their driving

-Weighted feet which simulate how difficult if can be to lift your feet while driving

-Acoustic Earmuffs- filter out higher frequencies that can't be heard easily

- Fingerless Gloves- help mimic the reduced control and strength in their digits

- Also it can recreate Glaucoma, cataracts or other eye disease with impairment glasses 

Conley and Ford hope that their work with the Third Age suit and a number of other inventions will not produce a senior specific car, but will produce a car that has "a universal design that is appropriate for all ages". 

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