Ford to design its vehicles to help people with age-related vision problems

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 24, 2011

To drive, one requirement is to have good eyesight, something that Ford and Cambridge University wants to have a better understanding of. They will work together to study the various visual impairment issues that affect a society that’s ageing. And for those who have vision problems, Ford and Cambridge will create better vehicle designs with the use of digital tools.

The World Health Organisation said that 285 million people throughout the world have some sort of visual impairment. Of this number, around 65% are 50 years old and older. As the senior population grows, so will the number of people with visual impairments. When you get older, you don’t see fine details as well. Seeing in the dark is also impaired.

As a result, bifocal or varifocal glasses would have to be worn so that drivers can read the instrument cluster. The incidence of other eye diseases, such as glaucoma, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is also high in those 50 and older.

Angelika Engel, ergonomics attribute specialist at Ford of Europe, said that it’s natural for ageing people to experience visual impairment but they may not notice it for many years because the process is so gradual. She emphasized that conditions such as AMD and glaucoma may have a very slow onset.

Topics: ford, design

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