New technologies for assessing elderly drivers’ road safety wins funding

The Floow, a world leader in vehicle telemetry data capture and processing, has received £190k funding from The Road Safety Trust to advance approaches for assessing elderly drivers’ fitness to drive.

As the driving population aged over 60 continues to grow, existing testing capabilities face challenges requiring some drivers to be approved or disqualified without seeing how they drive. Existing driving assessments are costly and judge a person’s driving in a single test in unfamiliar vehicles and locations thus only partially understanding day-to-day real-world driving risk.

The Road Safety Trust, dedicated to achieving zero deaths and serious injuries on UK roads, funded over £1million to eight organisations across the UK for technology-focussed road safety projects. Fit2Drive is one of these projects. It seeks to repurpose technology from telematics Insurance to better understand the day-to-day behaviour and fitness to drive of elderly drivers.

This project brings together leading vehicle risk monitoring expertise alongside clinicians (Sheffield Teaching Hospital), academics (University of Sheffield), elderly drivers and carers themselves (coordinated by NIHR MedTech cooperative ‘Device for dignity’) and importantly UK testing centres (Driving Mobility). This unique collaboration will undertake an innovative telematics clinical trial seeking to understand both older elderly risk behaviours and how new technology could help make fitness to drive processes more cost effective, fairer and safer for all.

Sam Chapman, Chief Innovation Officer at Floow said: “The Fit2Drive project is unique globally in bringing together driver monitoring, clinical assessment, driver assessors, and elderly drivers themselves. This will help gather new knowledge of elderly drivers’ risk alongside testing for new approaches supporting improved fitness to drive assessments. This has strong potential to make not just elderly drivers and our roads safer but also enable safe elderly drivers to maintain freedom to drive for longer”.

Sally Lines, Chief Executive of Road Safety Trust said: “We really welcome the project from Floow as it has a clear link to how technology can be used to improve road safety and in turn help us work towards our vision of zero deaths and serious injuries on UK roads. 

The project will be centred on a testbed location surrounding Sheffield City Region and will start live testing of new fitness to drive assessment approaches from January 2022.

The Road Safety Trust is the largest independent road safety grant-giver in the UK and funds vital research and practical interventions committed to reducing the number of people killed or injured on UK roads. Since it was established in 2014, The Road Safety Trust has awarded grants worth £3.9m to 56 different projects. 


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