Toyota testing cars for elderly

Kyodo

Toyota Motor Corp. is testing cars equipped with a camera to detect traffic signals and stop signs as well as sound and panel alarms to warn of speeding in an attempt to reduce traffic accidents involving elderly drivers, which the automaker says mostly take place at or near intersections.

A media briefing was given Monday about a series of ongoing test sessions scheduled from February through May in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, with 50 drivers aged at least 65.

Toyota is hoping to develop a marketable system after collecting data on alarm frequencies, timing and sound volumes. In 65.8 percent of the tests, drivers have failed to slow to 5 kph or less at an intersection that requires a stop, according to the company.

Toyota said accidents caused by drivers aged 65 or older have been on the rise, with 49 percent of fatal wrecks reported at or near intersections.