A declining birthrate and a rising life expectancy are bringing about an unprecedented demographic transformation around the world. For the first time, people age 65 and over soon will out number children under the age of 5. Gary Strumolo, Manager, Vehicle Design and Infotronics said Ford Motor Company is striving to deliver solutions and innovations that resonates with consumers so they can maintain their freedom.
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|Cut #1:||"As you get older, the possible loss of that driving capability is equated with the removal of freedom so what we can do to try to help older people to continue to drive is important to them because it really equates to a loss of freedom if they can't do that." :14 sec. |
Strumolo says there are a number of technologies which are already in Ford vehicles designed to make it easier to operate the vehicle.
|Cut #2:||"We have multi-contour seat, which has a series of inflatable bladders, and some of those bladders provide a gentle rocking motion so if you're on a long trip it rocks you in the seat, to avoid blood build-up in your rear. We have a easy fuel filter. Many people have arthritic fingers, have difficulty if they're trying to turn that fuel cap, you don't need to do that, with the easy fuel filter, you just push the nozzle directly into the device." :27 sec. |
Another device currently helping design a vehicle that is more user friendly is the third-age suit which simulates an older persons lack of range of motion.
|Cut #3:||"We look at third-age suits which mimic the restrictions that some people have on their movements on their joints and we use that to help us understand how best to design say, getting in and out of the car." :11 sec. |
The whole idea of the Health and Wellness arena is a way to expand automotive safety. Strumolo says if we really want to help the well-being of drivers and passengers we need to address their chronic illnesses, like Diabetes, Asthma and Allergies and Ford is doing that by partnering with companies like Medtronic's which is a leading manufacturer of diabetes monitoring devices.
|Cut #4:||"We're trying to do that with a three pronged approach, one is connecting to the cloud, connecting to mobile health services that are on the web, the other is actually connecting to devices that you bring in, so if you're carrying this continuous glucose monitor, which communicates through blue tooth, SYNC has the ability to pair with it just as it can pair with the phone. And the third is to leverage the number of Smart Apps which are on Smart phones." :23 sec. |
Strumolo says Ford is in the process of trying to change the paradigm of SYNC.
|Cut #5:||"Currently if you talk about SYNC you think primarily infotainment, it connects your phone, it connects your MP3 player and so on. But what we want to do is change that paradigm, to say not only is it concerned with infotainment, but it's also concerned with the health and well being of the driver and passengers in the car." :15 sec. |
The bottom line when it comes to an aging population, Ford is going beyond Safety Belts and Air Bags to preserve the Health and Wellness of both the driver and passenger.
|Cut #6:||"We think that Health and Wellness is the next frontier for expanding the notion of automotive safety beyond the conventional one of crash worthiness to something that directly effects our customers on a daily basis." :12 sec. |
By the year 2030, the number of people over 50 years old will surpass those under 20.