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In-vehicle navigation systems and older adults

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Chris EmmersonORCiD, Dr Amy Guo, Professor Phil BlytheORCiD, Dr Anil Namdeo, Simon Edwards


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The UK has a rapidly ageing population that is very dependent on driving to meet their mobility needs. There are functional declines that occur with ageing that affect one’s ability to drive. Therefore, the importance of continued mobility and access to a private car for older adults is significant. In response to this, the purpose of the paper is to report on older drivers’ navigation methods and their self-assessment of in-vehicle navigation systems. This paper reports on six focus groups with older drivers, three groups with those use in-vehicle navigation systems and three groups with those who do not. These groups found that the use of in-vehicle navigation systems provide older drivers with a companion in the car, increased confidence on the roads and an element of pleasure in driving. When planning long distance trips older drivers will use online planning tools that provide a familiarity with their traditional method of navigation, the road atlas. Some participants who currently use no driving aids suggested potentially unsafe navigation techniques, indicating a clear need for assistance in navigation. Finally, there are some significant barriers for in-vehicle navigation systems to overcome before they fulfil their potential of helping older drivers maintain their mobility.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Emmerson C, Guo AW, Blythe PT, Namdeo A, Edwards SJF

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 19th ITS World Congress

Year of Conference: 2012