Dilwyn Marple-Horvat, Professor of Motor Neuroscience, Manchester Metropolitan University

Dilwyn Marple-Horvat is Professor of Motor Neuroscience in the School of Healthcare Science at Manchester Metropolitan University. His research investigates how the brain uses sensory information to guide what we do. Recent work has focused on algorithm-based automatic in-car detection of impaired driving due to different factors, including alcohol, and medical conditions such as diabetic peripheral neuropathy, with the aim of reducing the crash statistics associated with any impairment.

Presentation: Driving with diabetic peripheral neuropathy; particular problems and possible solutions

This presentation will begin with a description of the particular issues facing older drivers with diabetic peripheral neuropathy as a complication of diabetes. This affects cutaneous sensation from the feet, the ability to know the joint angle at the ankle, and the speed and strength with which the foot can push down. Not surprisingly, these deficits impair a driver’s ability to use the accelerator pedal appropriately to drive safely.

Once the specific pattern of affected driving has been identified, algorithm-based solutions to detecting impaired driving can be found. Such Automatic Driver Assistance Systems could reduce the risk of losing control of the vehicle.

A second approach is to deliver training that will help drivers with diabetic peripheral neuropathy to overcome their particular difficulties and so drive safer for longer.