The MIT AgeLab was created in 1999 to seek solutions in technology, services and policy that improve well-being across the lifespan. The AgeLab believes that safe, easy to use transportation is important for everyone and is a key factor in older adult independence.

Our researchers seek to understand how drivers interact with the environment, vehicle, in-vehicle technologies and common distractions without compromising safety. Tools such as the AwareCar, an instrumented vehicle that monitors driver state through physiology, visual attention, driving performance, and video of the driver and roadway, as well as Miss Daisy, a fixed-base vehicle simulator, enable the AgeLab to study the behavior of drivers under highly controlled laboratory conditions as well as in real-world environments.

Our efforts focus on developing a detailed picture of how drivers manage the range of simple to complex cognitive, visual and manipulative demands while driving.

Our hope is through the optimization of the driver-vehicle interface, and the eventual real-time assessment of driver behavior, we can make the roadways safer for all users including the older adult.

Through its partnership with Toyota, the AgeLab plans to extend its research in the area of in-vehicle voice command systems to help understand how to they might be optimized to contribute to the overall enhancement of future vehicle interfaces.