Issues of Control with Older Drivers and Future Automated Driving Systems
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It is inevitable that as a person ages they will encounter different physical and cognitive impairments as well as dynamic social issues. We started this project under the assumption that autonomous driving would greatly benefit the fastest growing population in developed countries, the elderly. However, the larger question at hand was how are older drivers going to interact with future automated driving systems? It was through the qualitative research we conducted that we were able to uncover the answer to this question; older drivers are not willing to give up “control” to autonomous cars. As interaction designers, we need to define what type of interactions need to occur in these future automated driving systems, so older drivers still feel independent and in control when driving.
Lawrence D. Burns, former Vice president of Research and Development at General Motors and author of Reinventing the Automobile Personal Urban Mobility for the 21st Century talks about two driving factors that will shape the future of the automobile. These factors are energy and connectivity (Burns et al., 2010). We would add a third one, which is control. If we address these three factors we might be able to bridge the gap between how we drive today and how we will drive in the future and thus create more cohesive future automated driving systems.