Robohub.org
 

Robocars: A natural fit for retirement communities

by
18 October 2014



share this:

independence

As people get older, they start losing their ability to drive: they start having trouble seeing in the dark and they stop driving at night; they also make mistakes, causing other people to hit them, and they are more likely to die in these accidents because they are more fragile. Eventually their accident rate surpasses that of reckless teens, and when their keys are taken away (either by a family member, or more occasionally by the state), their kids become a taxi service.

The boomer generation, which took over the suburbs and exurbs, have nice houses but minimal transit options. Without the ability to drive, many seniors fear being shut in, and find themselves forced to leave their homes.

The robocar offers answers to many of these problems: safe transportation for those with disabilities (eventually even mild dementia); inexpensive taxi transportation anywhere, including to and from low-transit suburbs; and a chance to video chat with the grandchildren while on the way.

It’s no surprise that retirement communities have been suggested as early deployment zones for robocars. First, these communities are filled with people losing the ability to drive but whose mobility needs are reasonably limited: if they can get to basic shopping, doctors’ offices, community centers and a few other locations (including transit hubs to travel further), they can do pretty well. Second, the street environment of these communities is relatively controlled, and in many retirement communities NEVs/golf carts have been deployed already.

Seniors do not tend to be early adopters, so the normal instinct would be to expect them to fear a new technology as dramatic as the robocar; just look at the market for simplified cell phones aimed at seniors who can’t imagine why they want a smartphone.

But sometimes necessity overcomes the fear of change and the barrier is broken. Pictures of grandchildren in e-mail brought grandparents online, as did video calls with them. Until the robocar came along, we were all doomed to eventually lose the freedom cars gave us. Now this no longer need happen.

Learn more about why seniors might be early adopters for robocars in my interview with the Wall Street Journal.

A version of this article originally appeared on robocars.com.



tags: , , , , ,


Brad Templeton, Robocars.com is an EFF board member, Singularity U faculty, a self-driving car consultant, and entrepreneur.
Brad Templeton, Robocars.com is an EFF board member, Singularity U faculty, a self-driving car consultant, and entrepreneur.





Related posts :



Robot Talk Episode 90 – Robotically Augmented People

In this special live recording at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Claire chatted to Milia Helena Hasbani, Benjamin Metcalfe, and Dani Clode about robotic prosthetics and human augmentation.
21 June 2024, by

Robot Talk Episode 89 – Simone Schuerle

In the latest episode of the Robot Talk podcast, Claire chatted to Simone Schuerle from ETH Zürich all about microrobots, medicine and science.
14 June 2024, by

Robot Talk Episode 88 – Lord Ara Darzi

In the latest episode of the Robot Talk podcast, Claire chatted to Lord Ara Darzi from Imperial College London all about robotic surgery - past, present and future.
07 June 2024, by

Robot Talk Episode 87 – Isabelle Ormerod

In the latest episode of the Robot Talk podcast, Claire chatted to Isabelle Ormerod from the University of Bristol all about human-centred design and women in robotics.
31 May 2024, by

Robot Talk Episode 86 – Mario Di Castro

In the latest episode of the Robot Talk podcast, Claire chatted to Mario Di Castro from CERN all about robotic inspection and maintenance in hazardous environments.
24 May 2024, by

Congratulations to the #ICRA2024 best paper winners

The winners and finalists in the different categories have been announced.
20 May 2024, by





Robohub is supported by:




Would you like to learn how to tell impactful stories about your robot or AI system?


scicomm
training the next generation of science communicators in robotics & AI


©2024 - Association for the Understanding of Artificial Intelligence


 












©2021 - ROBOTS Association