Toyota is serious about the safety of its customers, and the Japanese automaker is thinking outside the box to keep its elderly drivers on the road. To help keep the AARP demographic up to the rigors of daily driving, Toyota has hooked up with Professor Ryuta Kawashima of "Brain Age" fame, to create a driving experience that helps sharpen the mind. Among the technologies being studied to help drivers is a system that recognizes driving characteristics and applies the brakes whenever erratic behavior is detected. Swerving and accidental accelerator jabs are among the potential driving behaviors being looked at, and an interface involving the navigation screen can assist drivers along the way. Kawashima wants to make driving a stimulating brain exercise, and Toyota is dropping coin in an effort to begin realizing the cranial activity within five years. It's hard to see how applying the brakes for you will sharpen your mind, but with five years until launch we're sure Toyota isn't keen to tipping its hand to explain.

Anything that can help keep drivers and pedestrians safe is a good thing, and Kawashima's brain-sharpening exercises coupled with top tech just may do the trick. If we are to be so bold as to suggest the first vehicle to showcase this new technology, we'd like to go on record as saying that the Avalon is a great choice. Or the Camry. Or any Lexus not named IS. Well, we're sure the execs from Aichi, Japan have a better idea which direction to take than do we.

[Source: International Herald Tribune]