Ford ‘Third Age Suit’ Helps Design Cars For Elderly

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Nowadays everyone wants a car for conveyance purposes, both the youth and elderly are buying vehicles. However, older people find it a bit difficult to use a vehicle due to drop in vision strength, hearing ability and several other factors that work against them.

American based automobile manufacturer Ford is committed to providing most accessible vehicles for all. Their engineers have developed a suit, in which they can recreate how elderly people would react in a vehicle. Ford call their new system the 'Third Age Suit' and is similar to the suit they produced to simulate drunk driving.

Ford have developed this suit so its engineers and designers can experience the challenges that an elderly person would face in their vehicle. It is called a ‘Third Age Suit', as it ages the individual by 30 years in a matter of few minutes.

Ford have named their suit after a European concept that life goes through three stages. Owing to the suit engineers at Ford get a better understanding and can develop a better product that can be easily used by every individual within a family.

The Third Age Suit has a ten kilo vest which stiffens the hip, waist and abdomen. A further two and a half kilos are added to the each leg thus making it to difficult to operate the foot pedals. This simulates reaction and effort required by elderly individuals to drive a vehicle.

Ford has also included braces to the torso, elbow and knees to restrict individuals wearing the suit. They also test their vehicles with fingerless gloves and cotton mitts underneath them. Several other restrictions are added to decrease hearing and visuals, while driving.

The American manufacturer uses this Third Age Suit, so it can develop a vehicle that will be easy to use for elderly people. It is a great way for individuals to experience the hardships that older people have to face on a daily basis.

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Story first published: Wednesday, October 1, 2014, 10:49 [IST]
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