Driving is a habit that is hard to kick. However, as time goes by, humans’ ability to act in stressful and unpredictable situations decrease, thus making it harder and harder for retirees to drive their own cars safely. One of such abilities in decline while getting older often mentioned by the elderly is perception of distance.

Luckily, current technology is able to excel where human capabilities reach the limit. Our team has designed a prototype that shows a way to integrate a proximity sensor in a car that is capable of notifying the driver about obstacles on the road via visual and tactic feedback.

A proximity sensor is integrated in a battery powered box that is put on the panel of the car in front of the windshield and connected to a vibrating part on the steering wheel. The proximity sensor detects obstacles in front of the car and notifies the driver by projecting its distance on the windshield, while the enhanced steering wheel vibrates to notify the driver as well. The overall experience helps elderly people to perceive the distance to upcoming obstacles better therefore increasing their confidence and ability to drive.