The needs expressed by two of the most vulnerable groups in terms of  ergonomics and safety on board is concerned, pregnant women and elderly, were always treated empirically by the automakers.

But new technologies and more importantly, a more holistic point of view, have openedthe door to new techniques for improving the car ergonomics.

A good example is Ford which developed the Third Age Suit. This is a hybrid between a space suit and one bee keeper that makes engineers feel 30 years older than they are.

The costume design restricts motion in the elbows, wrists, knees, neck and back. His gloves limit the sensitivity of the hands and simulate lenses presbyopia and cataracts.

This suit offers a unique window and inaccessible by other means, to the limitations andneeds of the growing elderly population, which is expected to double in volume by 2030.

Ford uses a similar approach in the case of women in high state of pregnancy with theEmpathy Belly, or Empathy Belly designed in the United States by the companyBirthways.

Empathy Belly Kit

This costume designed for the purpose of simulating a high state of pregnancy, is usedby engineers in order to experience the hardships, sufferings and challenges pregnant women face when dealing with and more to drive a car.

The Empathy Belly has a belt to the rib area that restricts lung capacity, and two 7-poundweights playing the role of fetal limb and a 6-pound ball at the bottom of the belly that simulates the fetal head and press the bladder.

The final touch is given a weightsuspended to simulate the kicking of the fetus.

If ever your grandma or a pregnant friend tells you how much he liked the new FordExplorer or cool it is to manage the Ford Fiesta despite its diminutive size, now you can imagine why they say it.

Blog entry cortesy of Simón Gómez

Venezuelan lawyer given to the world of post-production and motorsport journalism.

Write 4 columns a month for MNS Autos on the vagaries of the automotive industry and less frequently of his own blog elautomaton.com