Automotive World – by Dustin Boutet
The pandemic drove us to recognize that our world needs a redesign. Moving into the post-pandemic era, it’s important to ensure that people of all ages can safely connect with others and maintain a sense of independence. In the future, this need will be primarily shaped by the automotive industry.
EPAM Continuum recently completed an extensive concept project, Silverkey, and a webinar, The Old Road Test, with Joseph F Coughlin of the MIT AgeLab, on redesigning the senior driving experience. Both suggested a number of ways to age safely behind the wheel.
There are real consequences when seniors leave the driver’s seat. During the webinar, panelists noted that driving represents freedom and independence for many seniors. When they can no longer drive, the likelihood that they’ll tumble into depression doubles; this can eventually land them in senior living. Those who stop driving are more likely to report poor health, according to a Finnish study (59% of driving seniors described their health as good; 43% of ex-drivers described theirs as not good). By keeping senior drivers on the road longer while increasing safety, seniors can delay the entrance into assisted living, stay out of hospitals, and maintain better connections to the community.