A sat-nav for the elderly

“Turn left in 300 yards,” my sat-nav tells me. 

Three hundred yards! I don’t know how far that is! I was never very good in maths classes, and now I’m expected to work out how quickly I will reach this 300 yard point while travelling at 40mph in an area I’m unfamiliar with?

It’s not happening.

Thankfully, researchers at Newcastle University are developing a new sat-nav which could help me and many others out no end.

Meant for elderly drivers, this sat-nav will tell the motorist to turn at a certain landmark, like a church or a restaurant, instead of flinging distances at them. 

Furthermore, for those motorists who have become worried by other traffic in their old age, the gadget will apparently even work out a route which has no right turns across traffic.

Professor Phil Blythe, the lead researcher, states, “What we are doing is to look at ways of keeping people driving safely for longer, which in turn boosts independence and keeps us socially connected.

“There are a range of solutions that could help and the navigation system is one of the more obvious solutions.

“It would be much simpler than a sat-nav and will try to provide information in ways the older generation can absorb and process.

“It identifies the safest route – such as avoiding right turns and dual carriageways – and uses pictures as turning cues, such as a postbox or public house.”

I’m loving the sound of this GPS system. I have a feeling it won’t be just elderly drivers choosing this new gadget over the less helpful sat-navs. 

Photo © me’nthedogs via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence

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