When we hear the term Self-Driving car we often think of Taxi Cabs, Uber and Highway Transport Trucks. One market that’s largely ignored but could benefit greatly from Self-Driving technology is Senior Citizens.
My mother (77) stopped driving after having a severe car accident that almost killed her while my father continues to drive at age 78. Another elderly client of mine can no longer drive for medical reasons at 85 years of age.
For most regions in Canada driving is synonymous with independence and losing the ability to drive can restrict your mobility and affect your lifestyle. Driving takes physical skills and coordination to control the vehicle but also takes cognition to navigate the roadways, destination and traffic. As we age our physical strength and coordination may diminish along with our cognitive processes. Autonomous vehicles can assist aging drivers in both the physical and mental decision making needed to safely operate a motor vehicle benefiting both the driver and passenger in the car as well as the general public. Self-driving technologies could extend the age in which older drivers are able to operate a motor vehicle and thus provide mobility and independence which otherwise would not be possible.
For more about Self-Driving Cars and the Elderly read Mary M. Chapman’s article in the New York Times at NY Times – Self Driving Cars