Am I Too Old to Drive?: Opinions of Older Adults on Self-Driving Vehicles


Fully autonomous or “self-driving” vehicles are an emerging technology that may hold significant mobility potential for both disabled persons and for older adults unable to operate a conventional motor vehicle. It can be argued, however, that the needs, preferences and concerns of older adults and disabled persons regarding this technology have been insufficiently explored. Using focus group methodology, this study explores the sentiments of 39 older adults (55+) regarding self driving vehicle technology. Discussions from the focus groups revealed that although participants believed that self-driving vehicles can enhance their mobility and independence, they were concerned about their reliability and safety. Participants expressed additional concerns regarding their ability to purchase such a vehicle and the training required to operate it. Opinions were mixed regarding the consideration of older adults in the design of the technology.