Dear ERCIM News Reader,
ERCIM News No. 94 has just been published at
Special Theme: "Intelligent Cars"
Guest editors: Jaroslav Machan (ŠKODA AUTO a.s., Czech Republic) and Christian Laugier (Inria, France)
Keynote: "Collaborative Mobility – Beyond Communicating Vehicles"
by Ilja Radusch, Ilja Radusch, head of department “Automotive Services and Communication Technologies” at Fraunhofer FOKUS and head of the Daimler Center for Automotive IT Innovations
This issue for download
epub format: http://ercim-news.ercim.eu/images/stories/EN94/EN94.epub
Next issue: No. 95, October 2013 - Special Theme: "Image Understanding" (see Call at http://ercim-news.ercim.eu/call)
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ERCIM News central editor
ERCIM - the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics - aims to foster collaborative work within the European research community and to increase co-operation with European industry. Leading European research institutes are members of ERCIM. ERCIM is the European host of W3C.
Each issue of ERCIM NEWS is a gift and for me it does not have to be a special theme that speaks directly to the health care, informatics or education communities. I have followed this publication and posted on W2tQ about many fascinating new issues. I'm sure it is over a decade ago since I also subscribed to Technicity, a magazine from Daimler. I bring the two publications together for two reasons (not due to sponsorship - how I wish):
Firstly, this is such a difficult time socio-economically in the EU, evinced in the proportions of younger adults who are unemployed. Publications like this show the opportunities for young people who aspire, but to do so they need the support and opportunities. Safety, design, materials science, energy systems and storage, city transport infrastructure and planning, security, nanotechnology, communications, vehicular informatics ... the possibilities for youths are amazing. In turn, however we need to recognize and respond to the employment potential of those whose path is not primarily academic and research based.
Secondly, in community mental health nursing services for older adults we often come across people who are still driving when their competency is most likely compromised. They should report an admission to hospital, prescribed medication or a specific diagnosis to the DVLA. ERCIM and Technicity both presage the arrival of autonomous vehicles. At present of course an 'intelligent car' depends on the intelligence of the driver. Which is why we get so annoyed when someone drives like an *^%$£!
Driving is a great responsibility and privilege. It is central to who we are, how we define ourselves, our independence, sustaining real social networks and - in my case livelihood. I recognised decades ago there will come a time to hand over the keys. Doing so gracefully, informed by insight and self-awareness is the trick. I don't envy family doctors who have to deal with this when a patient insists that they are safe behind the wheel. Sometimes we are ageist, hoping that a meeting with their doctor of some 20-30 years might carry some gravitas that their generation will still respond to. Add to this though that the person concerned is not always elderly. It can be very difficult for the driver (person, patient) concerned and their families too. Amid all this, as a community nurse you are trying to establish trust, empathy and rapport. Each time this issue is encountered: it is novel.
I don't want to suggest that suddenly the person behind the wheel is 'unintelligent', far from it. Evidence shows that a diagnosis of dementia does not immediately mean surrender of a driver's license. Behind dementia, however lie altered faculties that add up to more than synonyms: cognitive impairment, impaired perception, recall, and decision making, reduced concentration and attention. I thought there might be something in this issue of ERCIM related to dementia; monitoring the physiological state of the driver, reactions, attention, stress levels, eye movement. Is there a signature for health in driving behaviours?
Unlike other methods of detecting tiredness, the Mercedes-Benz system evaluates a series of indicators in order to assess the alertness of the driver and to recognise the gradual transition between being awake and being tired. AME.infoOur sense of being, of personhood is heightened by movement. When do we feel most alive? What is the most important factor in health and well-being? There are moments when we are stationary and time passes us by. There are other occasions when we move through time. We literally project our ego through time. We enjoy sharing with friends where will be in the future and when we can also suspend time. Cars and air travel extend these abilities, AND mobilities.
The danger is when we pass through not only time but distance at speed without a reliable sense of judgement, without a wholly coherent sense of self and responsibility.
In the not too distant future all this of course could lead us to a new definition of self-care at least in this context?
SOME PAPERS via Athens: (other suggestions welcome)
Alzheimer’s Society - Driving and dementia
DVLA, UK Guide to the current medical standards of fitness to drive
The University of Nottingham - Predicting fitness to drive speed = (total distance traveled)/(total time taken)