It’s Sunday morning. You’re stuck behind that white Oldsmobile driving 20 km/hr below the speed limit. You pray to the gods of whichever church it’s heading toward that it will speed up. I’ve been there many times, stuck behind an older driver who’s struggling to drive safely.
Older drivers are confronted with a number of unique challenges: delayed response time, decreased range of motion, and vision impairments can make driving difficult, especially in winter conditions. Instead of allowing these challenges to deprive seniors of their freedom to get around, we can use technology to help them drive safely for longer. In the process, the roads become better for everyone.
So, automotive innovation is supplementing drivers’ deficiencies. Our vehicles can monitor blind spots, maintain their position on the highway, and parallel park for us. But, as automakers repeatedly stress, no technology can replace an alert and competent driver… yet. As part of its five year strategy, Ford has announced a fully automated hybrid vehicle. It has no steering wheel, brake pedal, or accelerator. It will be available in 2021. Then, car buyers of any age will be able to combine the freedom of car ownership with total safety.