Putting Older Adults in the Driver Seat: Using User Enactment to Explore the Design of a Shared Autonomous Vehicle


Self-driving vehicles have been described as one of the most significant advances in personal mobility of the past century. By minimizing the role of arguably error-prone human drivers, self-driving vehicles are heralded for improving traffic safety. Primarily driven by the technology’s potential impact, there is a rapidly evolving body of literature focused on consumer preferences. Missing, we argue, are studies that explore the needs and design preferences of older adults (60+). This is a significant knowledge gap, given the disproportionate impact that self-driving vehicles may have concerning personal mobility for older adults who are unable or unwilling to drive. Within this paper, we explore the design and interaction preferences of older adults through a series of enactment-based design sessions. This work contributes insights into the needs of older adults, which may prove critical if equal access to emerging self-driving technologies are to be realized.