Problem statement & Goal

Older drivers oftentimes face difficulties in road traffic - especially in complex traffic situations, which force you to process information and act promptly. They also may have problems in twilight and darkness, as well as with pulling out into traffic at a higher speed. In the aging process of a healthy human being most parts of the cognitive performance stay intact, like the crystalline intelligence (semantic knowledge and “wisdom of old age”). However cognitive functions are also affected by the age-related loss of efficiency, especially those which are associated with parts of the frontal lobe, like the executive functions (decision-making, ability to solve problems, cognitive flexibility, identification of rules and processing of response), cognitive performance, in particular working memory and learning new information.

Besides the age-related aggravation of the cognitive functions visual functions, which are essential for driving a vehicle, also experience a setback.

The cognitive abilities and the physical agility can only be minimally improved. In order to enhance the individual mobility of elderly drivers, especially in the light of social changes such as ensuring the resolution of inter-generational households without sacrificing the ideal of an accident-free driving, requires vehicles to have adapted safety systems, in particular driver assistance systems specifically tailored to elderly drivers. These systems make it possible to compensate the inferior information, acquisition and processing compared with younger drivers and allow elderly people to participate actively in individual traffic, considering the safety needs of other road users.

The aim of the project is the development, the construction and the empirical examination of an age-appropriate acoustic driver assistance system, which is tailored to the needs of the ever growing group of individual mobile older drivers and its inclusion in the product portfolio also makes economic sense for the automobile manufacturers and suppliers. These age-appropriate driver assistance systems must meet the requirements for technology, safety, comfort and design and are a step on the long road to autonomous driving. To this end, in an empirical study 150 subjects of the age group 50+ will first be examined in the driving simulator of the University of Duisburg-Essen and subsequently in a real test vehicle.

Work packages

The development, set-up and testing of age-appropriate driver assistance systems will take place in six work packages:

AP1: Requirements for a booklet
AP2: Empirical verification of the requirements in the driving simulator
AP3: Construction of demonstrators for various assistance systems
AP4: Empirical verification of the demonstrators in the driving simulator and of prototypes in a vehicle
AP5: Utilization of the results
AP6: Project coordination

Project team

The project team consists of:

Logo Universität Duisburg-Essen
Logo Ford
Logo HEAD acoustics
Logo Allround Team


The results of the project ALFASY are to be introduced:

Into the practice
Discussions in companies, workshops with companies, lectures and discussions at industry congresses, articles in industry magazines
Into the research
Articles in prestigious scientific journals, lectures
Into the teaching
Case studies and seminars