Self Driving Cars

Self Driving Cars for Seniors

Seniors as a group, myself included are approaching the time when driving might no longer be an option. Slowing responses, nervousness and caution can sometimes lead to accidents with more aggressive drivers. Short city trips would be much less stressful if a car could drive itself to your destination. My wife would love this concept. Loss of independence is a big issue for many seniors. Self driving cars could address this issue. At age 70 the accident rate begins to increase. At age 80, the accident rate is similar to rookie teenagers who do not have the experience. For seniors it is response time, peripheral vision and even driving too slowly. This is according to major insurance companies who publish results of claims and accidents.

Self Driving Cars for Seniors

Although for some people who are control type individuals who might not like self driving cars, many seniors and other nervous drivers will appreciate the flexibility of getting into a car and telling it where to go. Programming a self driven car regarding the address to go to might be a problem that designers have not dealt with yet. For many people setting up their GPS is still a problem. Once set or a destination saved, it should not be a major problem for most drivers.

With accident rates declining for self driven cars, insurance rates should also decline. As the percentage overall increases for self driven cars and accident rates decline, insurance premiums should also decline. We are looking forward to the day when self driven cars are combined with all-electric cars to provide the ultimate transportation vehicle.

There will always be a small group of people who will resist purchasing self driven cars or will turn the option off. These will be consumers who like the thrill of driving and also like the control factor. The main issue as we see it is remaining alert ready to take over should some kind of emergency require it. I can see all occupants of a self driven car falling asleep while the car continues merrily along to the programmed destination. Imagine !!!!

Self Driving Cars will Change Retirement

About to lose your license! Afraid to drive! Maybe self driving cars are the answer for seniors and anyone who is uncomfortable getting behind the wheel! Baby boomers are retiring in droves and are still driving. In about 5 years, Google and others feel that the technology and the laws will be ready for main stream autonomous driving! This coincides with the older boomers nearing the time when driving becomes a problem. There could be a large demand from this market segment. In fact after age 70, the accident rate begins to climb and at age 80 the accident rate is the same as rookie teenagers. Maybe self driving cards will change retirement, cause fewer accidents and fewer people will die in accidents.

Self Driving Cars will Change Retirement

There is still a way to go yet. The software needs to be perfected to handle just about any situation. Initially drivers will need to be prepared to take over in special situations, however there is a lot of concern about this. How alert will drivers be after using a self driven car for some time. Initially they will pay attention, but after many uneventful rides or longer trips attentions spans will wonder and the car will need to deal with emergencies by itself which is the long term plan.

Another issues will be the difficulty that many people have in giving up control to a machine. Even boomers who should not be driving will still have this issue. Control is a big thing for many people. They just feel more secure when they are in control of a machine.

Perhaps five years is a bit ambitious, since the technology may be worked out, but it may take longer to work out licensing issues for the owners / operators. Then there is the liability issue when an accident occurs. Who is at fault, the operator of the car, the person who wrote the software or the sensors that perhaps did not do their job. A lot more to come but at least there is hope for the aging boomer population.


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