For a long time now, Google has been working on a driverless car or self-driving car. There has been staunch support for the anticipated driverless car and there have been skeptics as well. Many have pegged Google’s ambition as unrealistic since there doesn’t seem to be any space for driverless cars on American roads, especially if they cannot exactly emulate the driving experience humans are accustomed with right now.
It is debatable whether or not self driving cars will be as intuitive, fast, maneuverable and satiating as our cars are right now. But what cannot be debated is the relevance of such cars. Self-driving or driverless cars can allow an entire generation to live independently. And you guessed it right, our seniors.
Even though driverless cars will take time to develop and actualize, it is going to have a definitive impact in helping seniors who can no longer drive and are at risk when they drive. A AAA study found that seniors who have fallen are 40% more likely to be involved in a crash.
Google’s prototype that some lucky people have got to test-drive, rather test self-drive, are small pods with no steering wheel, brakes or gears and other typical components. There is an LCD interface and all the technology or specs are inside. There is absolutely nothing that the driver needs to do. One simply presses a button on the LCD interface and the car drives itself. Right now, driverless cars are not allowed on American roads. But Google plans to roll out a hundred driverless or self-driving cars in California for a pilot project.
For all who wonder how relevant this car would be in the world and if the young people would want to be completely controlled by a machine, the self driving car is significant as it can transform the lives of people aged sixty or sixty five and above. There are more seniors now in our country than even before in the last hundred years. In the next twenty or thirty years, the populace of seniors would almost double.
Those who live in cities can still resort to public transport. Those living in suburbs or rural areas where a personal car is the only option will be unable to live independently should they be unable to drive. Poor sight, shaky hands, health conditions and reduced reflex would compel seniors to stay off the wheels. That is not even a possibility when you have to drive should you want to live properly.
More than 45 million people in the United States are above sixty five right now. In 2030, the number could be more than 70 million and in all likelihood, there would be up to 100 million seniors by 2050. Being unable to drive or not being allowed to drive by their children, seniors have only one option. They need driverless cars.