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Autonomous vehicles could help the elderly

Autonomous vehicles could be a lifeline for elderly people.

British Transport Secretary Chris Grayling believes the rise in self-driving cars - which are expected to hit the UK's road early next decade - could encourage older people to be more mobile, even if they can't drive their car themselves, giving them a "new sense of freedom and independence".

He said: "I expect the first completely self-driving cars to reach the market and to be used on UK roads by 2021. Many members of the public - particularly among older generations - will be sceptical about the prospect of self-driving cars.

"The potential benefits of these new technologies for human mobility - and for wider society - are tremendously exciting. Many who can't currently drive will be able to take to the road. Elderly people or people with disabilities which prevent them from travelling today will discover a new sense of freedom and independence.'"

And Grayling thinks self-driving vehicles will make the roads safer too as they take away the option of human error.

Speaking at the Association of British Insurers annual conference in London, he added: "Self-driving cars should make road travel far safer by eliminating the biggest contributory factor in accidents today - human error ...

"I think this is the real core of the revolution that lies ahead. We've seen nothing in our lifetimes that can compare with the motoring revolution that's just around the corner. A revolution that will transform the way we travel, the way we buy, run and power our cars, and the way we insure them.'"

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