Categorized | Technology

The Car Guy: Innovation for senior transportion

Until recently, most elderly non-drivers were at the mercy of relatives or public transport for their commuting needs.

My parents and many other people are reaching an age where driving is either difficult or more often out of the question. Dimming vision, poor hearing and reduced coordination often spell doom to many older drivers.
So what do we do? Until recently, most elderly non-drivers were at the mercy of relatives or public transport for their commuting needs.
Because of a lack of adequate public transit in many areas, seniors are largely homebound unless they can get where they need to on foot.
If the physical requirements of driving can’t be met, that means walking is out as well. Relatives often lead busy lives with family and work obligations, so hitching a ride is burdensome and sometimes impossible for seniors.
For a few years, we’ve heard a lot about self-driving vehicles. The average senior citizen would benefit from the capabilities of such cars. I’ve touched on this idea a few times, but did not get into specifics.
I believe autonomous vehicles will change the way elderly citizens and people with disabilities travel.
Cars that drive for us at our beck and call seem to be a harbinger of much more mobility for many people who, until now, had little chance for freedom.
Mobility, seen by Americans as a birthright, isn’t such for some people. Now, that birthright may continue well into our golden years.
The life and community that mobility allows will make transport easier and much safer for drivers of all skill levels. For that reason alone, I encourage us all to promote autonomous vehicles as a way to a safer world. It also will lessen the often debilitating symptoms of aging, allowing many older people to continue to enjoy the freedom they had when they could drive on their own.
Robo-cars already are in various states of testing.
Seniors and less-mobile among us deserve the right to have access to them sooner than many of the rest of us.
Maybe manufacturers and governments can see a way make these types of vehicle inexpensive enough so they can be purchased by those who want the freedom that most of us take for granted.
Craig Crabill is an ASE master certified auto and heavy truck technician. He has owned a repair business for more than 30 years.


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