Sometimes driving yourself just isn’t an option, and having a chauffeur becomes a necessity. But most people don’t have the funds to hire a full-time driver to pick them up from water aerobics. By far the more affordable option is the use of a rideshare application. And while Uber and Lyft are currently the rideshare giants, they can be hard to use for the not-so-tech-savvy. Thankfully, there are several platforms specifically made to help seniors catch a ride.
GoGo Grandparent is a great resource for those who would rather speak to someone than fumble around on their phone. The service connects each senior to a “professional grandchild” who arranges the ride.
Another handy rideshare assistance platform is Arrive, a service that doesn’t even require members to have a smartphone. You just call and a driver shows up.
Then there are rideshare companies that take their services above and beyond, like SilverRide, whose drivers personally assist passengers and even accompany them on outings if desired.
The time for expensive taxis and uncomfortable public transport is at an end. Ridesharing and supporting services are pioneering the way seniors get around, especially for those who have retired from taking the wheel.
For seniors who are still responsibly on the road, automotive insurance can become a huge money pit. Much of the time, the elderly are unfairly penalized because of their age. That’s why innovative telematics technology is so important.
These telematic devices are simply plugged into the car, where they collect driving data and determine the appropriate insurance rates for the type of driver you are. This is an innovative way for seniors who are skilled drivers to save money and potentially avoid increased rates by insurance companies.
Over the last decade, automotive design has become something of an incubator for innovative technology. Efforts to improve automobile safety have grown leaps and bounds, and continue to do so at a rapid pace. With cameras everywhere, parking assistance, automatic braking and blind-spot warning systems, every driver — no matter their age — can take advantage of assistive technology that may make us more comfortable behind the wheel.
Some manufacturers even design their cars to match the specific needs of a typical senior. For example, when Ford was putting together the latest model of the Focus, designers had to wear a special suit that simulated the effects of aging. It increased stiffness in joints, added bulk to the torso and even mimicked visual impairments such as cataracts. This resulted in a car intuitively constructed for the senior driver. With a wider front door, higher seats, more headroom and larger dashboard controls, the new Focus is easy to get in and out of and even easier to operate.
Google has publicly stated that “taking the driver out of the loop” by using self-driving cars is by far the safest route for drivers. According to Google, self-driving cars significantly reduce the chance of human error and would allow seniors to drive for longer as they age, and without ballooned insurance rates. Although fully autonomous self-driving cars are mostly still in the research and development phase, and there are risks unique to such technologies, it seems that soon enough companies like Google, GM and Waymo may have their innovative gizmos out on the streets.
As it stands, we already have access to semi-autonomous vehicles. Companies like Audi and BMW have included features in their newest models that make traffic jams a breeze and manufacturers like Tesla, Volvo, and Mercedes have already implemented some highly-advanced autopilot options for their newer releases. It may be just a matter of time before we can all be driving a modern version of KITT from “Knight Rider.”
Fully autonomous self-driving cars may not be readily available at the moment, but as you can see, there are several innovative ways a senior citizen can get to and fro. Whether it’s ridesharing, intelligent insurance, or more intuitive vehicles, the future is very much here, and what’s better, it has the senior community in mind.
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