The researchers have converted an electric car into a mobile laboratory.
The “DriveLAB” has navigation tools, night vision systems and intelligent speed adaptations. It can monitor concentration, stress levels and driving habits via glasses that can track eye movement, and monitors to assess where the key stress points are for older drivers. The car also has night vision systems to help driving in the dark.
Areas to think about:
- Assuming these technologies become available for older drivers, how should they be funded?
- Who would be responsible for determining whether certain driver-aids were necessary for any given individual driver?
- Although the DriveLAB is an experimental vehicle, some higher-end road cars already feature innovations such as adaptive cruise control, lane assist, night vision, heads-up displays, satellite guidance and so on. Obtaining physiological telemetry data from drivers already exists at F1 level and would be easy to implement. A fully-automated and adaptive car is therefore a realistic possibility for the medium-term future. However, all these cars allow a driver to override the car if needed. What kind of safeguards or technological innovation would be required before you would want to allow the opposite to take place: to permit a car to take over driving from a person who is being dangerous, on public health grounds, possibly due to the driver’s poor health?