Nissan recently collaborated with Niigata University, Kitasato University, and the Sagami Women's University in Japan to establish the new “Traffic Future Creation Lab”. Their goal? To make roads and streets safer for everyone. In particular, the lab aims to study and curb vehicular accidents caused by elderly drivers, which has become a societal problem in Japan.
The lab will study the driving errors of senior citizen drivers associated with cognitive and physical decline. The research will also take into account various factors such as lifestyle, culture, and connection with the local community that causes these declines. Once complete, the lab hopes its findings will be able to make driving safer for the elderly.
Due to the partnership with local universities, there are a wide variety of researchers taking part, including specialists in biomedical engineering, medical hygiene, life/costume design, and social design. Meanwhile, participants will undergo various tests, such as a driving simulator and an actual driving test. One of the tests focuses on eye-gaze analysis and color reaction analysis combined with the physical functions of elderly people while driving a vehicle. With the results, Nissan will develop and create new safety solutions allowing senior drivers to drive longer and more safely.
Interestingly, researchers won't be solely doing tests with senior citizens. The lab will also be working with children, visiting foreigners, and even people with anxiety. As a result, they hope that no one will be left behind as transportation moves forward.
With elderly drivers globally, the results from Nissan's effectively benefit everyone. Some of you may say senior citizens should not drive anymore due to their age and hire a driver instead to curb accidents. Unfortunately, that's not a luxury everyone can afford. For most, driving is still the means of going places, including seniors. Besides, who are we to stop our lolos and lolas from driving if they still can?