If technology can put autonomous autos onto the streets, one of the groups that may really benefit is the elderly.
At some point, elderly people have a good chance of losing the ability to drive safely and also lose some of their independence. However, self-driving cars could ease that problem, according to The New York Times in “Self-Driving Cars Could Be Boon for Aged, After Initial Hurdles.”
For the elderly, the loss of the ability to drive is symbolic of a loss of self-reliance since it makes it much more difficult to get around.
Elderly people who have always been able to get in their vehicles and drive themselves anywhere they want naturally resent not being able to do so. They also often fear that if they call someone to help them, then they are being a burden.
Automakers and technology companies are in a race to develop cars that can drive themselves. These autonomous vehicles would be able to take passengers where they want to go more safely than human drivers, according to advocates.
If the elderly were to use self-driving cars, then they would no longer need to lose their mobility when they are no longer able to drive. Some believe that these vehicles could be available in as little as five years.
Reference: The New York Times (March 23, 2017) “Self-Driving Cars Could Be Boon for Aged, After Initial Hurdles.”