Driverless Cars Will Allow Far Greater Mobility for Elderly and Disabled People

December 07, 2017, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

driverless carWe've heard quite a bit about driverless cars in the last year. Many auto manufacturers like Ford and Volvo will be rolling them out in the next five years for widespread sale. In terms of their operation we've heard of several crashes in the news, but less widely publicized is that almost all of the crashes were due to other vehicles hitting them, and they have now clocked millions of kilometres on the roads.

Driverless vehicles will have some great advantages that haven't been widely discussed to date. It is anticipated that as our population in North America continues to age, there will be a crisis of transportation. As we age out of driving ourselves driverless vehicles will allow the elderly and those who can't drive due to disability freedom they never could have imagined a generation ago.   CDC found that 15 per cent of those 65 or older had given up driving, while even more had given up driving in heavy traffic, poor weather and in the dark. Those who continued to drive were very selective about when they did so.

The key to the future success of the driverless cars is to have the design to accommodate the needs of the disabled and elderly. These needs should be anticipated now and should become standard in the design of all driverless cars. Wheel chair accessibility, displayed speech panels, large control knobs, and audio systems that understand people who are deaf speaking should all be considerations in design.

Regulation and unfettered free market development of vehicles will have to be balanced early on to assure that the new vehicles will be safe and will accommodate a wide variety of needs, particulalry as we move into a wider car share economy.



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