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Driver Assistance Systems and the Transition to Automated Vehicles: A Path to Increase Older Adult Safety and Mobility?

December 12, 2014 Comments off

Driver Assistance Systems and the Transition to Automated Vehicles: A Path to Increase Older Adult Safety and Mobility?
Source: Public Policy & Aging Report

Transitions in driving roles occur throughout one’s life-time. As medical conditions accrue, they can sporadically or permanently limit driving (Owsley, 2004). Women frequently cease driving earlier than men, and often while still fit to drive (Alsnih & Hensher, 2003; Siren, Hakamies-Blomqvist, & Lindeman, 2004). Widowhood can increase older women’s need to drive (Braitman & Williams, 2011) at a time when this is particularly challenging. On the other hand, even as adults age, they are becoming increasingly economically able to purchase new vehicles (Coughlin, 2009). As a consequence of both the increased numbers and economic independence of older adults, innovations in personal mobility that mitigate the burdens of age will grow in value over the coming decades. A move toward new urbanism, including improved public transit systems and walkable streets and sidewalks, is an admirable vision that would help meet the growing needs of many older adults. However, it will require, at considerable cost, rebuilding or retrofitting the existing infrastructure at a rate that is not likely to meet the needs of today’s aging boomers.

Fully automated or driverless cars, by contrast, represent a path that promises to enhance the mobility options of older adults within the existing infrastructure. However, many consumers do not clearly understand that while the basic building blocks of these systems are available today in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), fully automated or driverless vehicles are still on the distant horizon. For the foreseeable future, automated vehicle technologies, including ADAS, will continue to rely on a “responsible” driver to oversee the technology, capable of resuming control and having the foresight to make many (yet to be defined) strategic operational decisions. But because of their transformative promise and heavy news coverage, the prospect of automated cars has become a source of great hope for many. Some believe that fully automated cars, capable of navigating the roadways while the “operator” reads a paper or takes a nap, will be available within a few years. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Instead, there is work to be done to increase the awareness and education necessary to spur the purchasing of ADAS available today, which will support many older drivers’ mobility and safety needs.

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Driver Preparedness: A 2014 Survey of Drivers Age 30+

December 2, 2014 Comments off

Driver Preparedness: A 2014 Survey of Drivers Age 30+
Source: AARP Research

Key findings include:

  • In general, drivers age 30 and older (98%) feel prepared before taking a car trip of 50 miles or more, with 84% feeling very prepared and 14% feeling somewhat prepared.
  • Likewise, drivers report ensuring their vehicle is prepared before taking a trip of 50 miles or more. Specifically, roughly eight-in-ten report always ensuring their mirrors are adjusted properly (89%), checking dashboard warning lights and addressing any related problems (84%) and ensuring their vehicle is up to date on its recommended services (80%). A majority of drivers also report always checking that their headlights are working (64%), checking the oil level in their car (57%), checking their windshield wipers (53%), and checking their tire pressure (51%).
  • In general, the extent to which drivers engage in vehicle preparation increases with age. For example, older drivers (age 50+) are particularly likely to always ensure their mirrors are adjusted properly, ensure their vehicle is up-to-date on recommended services, check that their windshield wipers are in good condition, and check their tire pressure.
  • Drivers also engage in a variety of planning behaviors, at least sometimes, before taking a trip of 50 miles or more. A majority of drivers report always telling someone when they expect to arrive at their destination (62%), and planning to avoid rush hour traffic (54%). Over four-in-ten report always packing food or planning where to eat (44%), while 38 percent report sometimes doing this. Additionally, a third say they always plan where they will stop to rest (30%), while roughly four-in-ten (38%) say they sometimes do this.
  • Drivers generally engage in the vehicle preparation measures more often than the planning measures tested in the survey. For example, while 80% always make sure their vehicle is up-to-date on services, only 26% always plan to avoid driving in dimly-lit conditions.
  • In general, the frequency in which drivers plan to avoid potentially challenging or risky driving situations increases with age. For example, older drivers, particularly those age 65 and older, were more likely than their younger counterparts to always make alternative plans for bad weather, plan to avoid driving in dimly-lit conditions, choose a route that avoids confusing intersections, and choose a route that avoids high speed roads.
  • Drivers understand the importance of having certain safety items in their car when taking trips. For example, over nine-in-ten say that a spare tire (98%), a cell phone (96%), and cash (92%) are important items to have in their car. Furthermore, drivers report typically having these items in their car when taking a trip. For example, over nine-in-ten report typically having a spare tire (99%), a cell phone (96%), and cash (92%) in their car. However, in some cases, there is a discrepancy between the percentage of drivers who believe an item is important and the percentage of drivers who typically have the item in their car. Most notably, seven-in-ten respondents believe flares, warning triangles and reflectors are important, while only 37 percent say they typically have them in their car.
  • Perhaps in part due to the preparation and planning behaviors drivers already engage in, most drivers do not worry about potential challenges they may face, such as getting lost or their car breaking down. A majority of drivers, however, do worry about adverse weather conditions.
  • Roughly half of drivers (54%) typically use a navigation system when taking a trip of 50 miles or more. Although the use of navigation systems decreases with age, four-in-ten drivers age 65+ typically use the device when taking trips.
  • Two-thirds (67%) of adults belong to a roadside assistance program. This figure increases with age, with eight-in-ten drivers age 65+ (77%) belonging to a program. Drivers also report having the phone number of the roadside assistance program readily available when traveling in their car.
  • The overwhelming majority of drivers say that they know how to change a tire (80%) and jump-start a car (81%).
Categories: AARP, motor vehicles, safety

KPMG: Convergence Of Consumer & Auto Technologies, Rise Of Mobility Services, Transforming The Auto Industry And Way We Live Our Lives

December 1, 2014 Comments off

KPMG: Convergence Of Consumer & Auto Technologies, Rise Of Mobility Services, Transforming The Auto Industry And Way We Live Our Lives
Source: KPMG

How disruptive will the convergence of consumer and automotive technologies, and mobility-on-demand services be to the automotive landscape and consumers? According to new research published by KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm, the automotive ecosystem and the way we interact with our vehicles is on the verge of a complete transformation.

In its latest whitepaper, “Me, My Car, My Life,” KPMG’s automotive practice suggests that the era of ubiquitous connectivity – the moment when you, your car and your life are one – has arrived. It will change the basic notions about mobility and revolutionize the way we think about and use our cars. That car is no longer just a way to get from point A to point B. In fact, it’s not just a car: It’s the control center for our mobile lives. As a result, the automotive industry is in the midst of a massive evolution.

2014 Global Automotive Consumer Study: Exploring European consumer mobility choices

November 14, 2014 Comments off

2014 Global Automotive Consumer Study: Exploring European consumer mobility choices
Source: Deloitte

This report highlights the key findings for the eight European countries covered in the 2014 Global Automotive Consumer Study by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited’s Global Manufacturing Industry group. The report provides perspectives on consumer mobility trends with a focus on the Gen Y market segment. Countries include Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, and United Kingdom.

Generation Y (“Gen Y”) consumers in Europe are interested in owning or leasing vehicles with around 75 percent planning to buy or lease a vehicle within the next five years. The study draws automakers’ attention to the changing mobility needs and buying behavior of Gen Y consumers, a group estimated to reach 106 million people in Europe by 2020.

EU — Being human in a hyper-connected era – The onlife initiative

November 11, 2014 Comments off

Being human in a hyper-connected era – The onlife initiative
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

The “Onlife Initiative”, a project launched by the Commission’s DG-CONNECT, explores the societal consequences of on-going digital transition. DG-CONNECT will present the conclusions of this project during a STOA workshop in the European Parliament on 2 December 2014.

The STOA workshop takes as its evidence-base that mobile broadband access to the internet, the Internet of Things, big data, open data, cloud-computing, social networks, and new forms of internet-based collaborative and co-creation models, (such as commons-based peer production and crowdsourcing), result in the ever-increasing pervasiveness of ICT in all aspects of our lives.

The digital revolution is clearly on its way. Governments are deploying e-government and e-participation systems, and in the political sphere, the new concept of online e-democracy clearly challenges the old representative democratic model invented by the Ancient Greeks. Progress in robotics, artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, self-driving vehicles, drones and smart factories may result in the massive automation (between 30-50%) of existing jobs in the next 20 years and will require changes to the education system for the new jobs that may be created.

Long-term prospects for health look promising and are aided by the rapid development of technologies such as low powered electronics, 3D printing and nanotechnologies. The application of the latest advances in gaming technologies to the learning and teaching environment already allows for dramatic improvemenst in education and vocational and education training in some sectors, such as medicine – a trend which looks likely to grow in the future. According to economists, the increased use of ICT in all sectors of the EU economy would be, all other things being equal, the most sensible way of increasing labour productivity and therefore growing the EU’s GDP per capita.

EPA, DOE Release 2015 Fuel Economy Guide for Car Buyers

November 10, 2014 Comments off

EPA, DOE Release 2015 Fuel Economy Guide for Car Buyers
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/U.S. Department of Energy

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) today released the 2015 Fuel Economy Guide, providing consumers with a valuable resource to help them choose the most fuel-efficient and low greenhouse gas emitting vehicles that meet their needs.

In comparison to previous years, the 2015 models include a greater number of fuel efficient and low-emission vehicles in a broader variety of classes and sizes.

Vital Signs — Motor Vehicle Crash Injuries: Costly but Preventable

November 7, 2014 Comments off

Vital Signs — Motor Vehicle Crash Injuries: Costly but Preventable
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

More than 2.5 million Americans went to the emergency department (ED)—and nearly 200,000 were then hospitalized—for crash injuries in 2012. On average, each crash-related ED visit costs about $3,300 and each hospitalization costs about $57,000 over a person’s lifetime. The best way to keep people safe and reduce medical costs is to prevent crashes from happening in the first place. But if a crash does occur, many injuries can still be avoided through the use of proven interventions. More can be done at every level to prevent crashes and reduce injuries, but state-level changes are especially effective.

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