4 November 2016

Self-driving cars to benefit elderly most — Bosch

Drivers in the 55 or more age group at the moment may well benefit most from the arrival of autonomous car technology, writes Brian Byrne.

That's the view of automotive components company Bosch, whose demographic research in the UK suggests that people in their 70s and 80s would be able to stay mobile longer when self-driving cars are a significant reality.

According to figures from Age UK, a quarter of over-65s find it difficult to get to their local hospital, and 12pc struggle to get to their supermarket. Bosch says driverless cars will be significant in changing this.

"By the time baby boomers reach their 70s and 80s, we expect the driverless car to be quite common on UK roads," says Steffen Hoffmann, UK President of Bosch, "allowing this generation to stay mobile safely well into their old age.  This allows them to keep their independence for longer. Therefore, it is important that they are aware of the technology at this early stage, so that they can take advantage of it when they need to."

However, the downside of the survey is that it also showed this over-55s age group knows least about autonomous technology, and doesn't feel safe about the concept.

On the other hand, the company says today's children fully expect that their personal transportation in the future will be driving itself. One participant, 6-year-old Daniel, said blithely "We tell it [the car] where to go and then it copies a map where to go and then it drives there itself!"

Of course it does …