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'Driver-less' cars may be beneficial for senior drivers

In a prior post we noted how the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was in the process of establishing new safety standards that will take into account the growing population of senior citizen drivers in America. It was noted that the population of “gray drivers” had grown steadily over the last decade and as baby boomers grew older, more elderly drivers would be on the road.

Because of this trend, it comes at no surprise that autonomous cars will soon be a part of the driving public. These “self-driving” cars are envisioned as the ultimate step in the evolution of crash avoidance systems, as they would be married to detailed mapping and traffic monitoring systems. Essentially, automakers believe that if they can create cars with self-driving mechanisms, it could create a new sense of freedom and independence for elderly drivers. 

According to a study produced by IHS Automotive, self-driving cars could be available as early as 2020. By 2025, experts believe that more than 200,000 cars will be on American roads. By 2035, that number could swell to over 11 million. Even more important than the numbers, experts believe that accident numbers will steadily decline as more self-driving cars are introduced into the market. They believe that the combination of safety accoutrements now being introduced will evolve into the systems that can help pilot a car and avoid crashes. They also contend that computer systems will not have the human flaws that lead to accidents (i.e. distracted driving, aggressive driving, drunk driving).

In the meantime, drivers in Dallas (including elderly drivers) must rely on their own faculties to properly and safely drive a car.

Source: LA Times.com, “54 million self-driving cars will be on the road by 2035, study finds,” David Undercoffer, January 2, 2014

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