Technology until now has been seen as within the realm of youth, with older Australians being wary of using the latest techno gadgets. However, the trend is moving toward technology becoming a life changer for elderly people, providing them greater freedoms and connectivity. We have already discussed some of these improvements, such as video phones and care programs on ipads. But hold on tight because the lastest application is driverless cars!
A car driven entirely by artificial intelligence is no longer a dream, it’s been developed. Experts say the autonomous car will be safer, resulting in fewer traffic injuries and deaths. The social benefits are great as these driverless cars will give freedom and mobility to those who can’t drive, such as the elderly , those with mobility problems and disabled people.
Aged care and lifestyle provider the IRT Group has formed a partnership to develop driverless car technology in a residential aged care setting. The idea being that driverless cars will improve residents’ independence and quality of life. The car model named “Pod Zero” will be programmed to safely navigate the private roads within the IRT communities and residents can hail the cars to travel independently to appointments and activities within their community.
A UK based company, RDM Autonomous, has brought the technology to Australia and is partnering the IRT Group to bring driverless cars to aged care communities for the first time anywhere in the world. They will present details of the project at the 2017 Information Technology in Aged Care Conference on the Gold Coast 21st to 22nd November.
I welcome any new technology that can help to make elderly people’s lives safer and easier. As an Aged Care Placement Consultant, I have the opportunity to see the areas where people with disabling conditions and frailty need more help as I assist my elderly clients and their families to find suitable aged care accommodation. Independent transport is definitely one of those areas. Imagine the freedom people in aged care would experience if they could just hop in a car to visit friends and relatives or attend a medical appointment and be delivered automatically to their destination.