A. Millonig:
"Connected and Automated Vehicles: Chances for Elderly Travellers";
Gerontology, 65 (2019), 5; S. 571 - 578.

Connected and automated vehicles (CAV) are expected to improve the mobility of older people by compensating for the effects of a decreasing age-related fitness to drive. However, the technology is still under development and it is unclear how automated transport services will be implemented and which effects will be achievable. This paper aims to assess the potential of connected and automated transport to improve the mobility of older people. The discussion focuses on potentially disrupting highly automated services; in addition, general effects on the transport system and quality of life influenced by the increased mobility of older people are considered. Based on findings from mobility behavior research and studies exploring the mobility barriers of older people, the current mobility gaps are systematically analyzed on external barriers (availability of transport and related information) and 3 different internal barrier levels: access (physical limitations), ability (skills and know-how), and acceptance (experiences and symbolic meaning associated with a service). Subsequently, the potential of CAV to bridge these gaps is assessed. The results show that CAV can mitigate several of the barriers experienced by older people, especially barriers related to motor, sensory, and cognitive limitations. For other gaps, such as socioeconomic, usability, or acceptance issues, the potential benefits strongly depend on the way CAV are implemented and how the transformation takes place. Additionally, improvement of the mobility of older people by car can also have negative effects on their health and well-being, as physical activities like walking and social relations like receiving support from others may decline. In general, the introduction of CAV shows significant potential to improve the mobility of elderly travelers. However, the role automated services will take over in the future transport system can also bear some risks, especially if automated cars are used excessively. A comprehensive design of future transport systems is required to define the role of automated services in order to target the current supply gaps and improve the quality of life of transport-disadvantaged groups while avoiding unduly traffic growth.

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