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Google develops car to overcome mobility difficulties

3rd June 2014

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

A new self-driving car created by Google is thought to be a step in the right direction for overcoming the mobility issues that the elderly face outside of their home. While stair lifts and other such mobility aids can assist in making the home a fully accessible environment for elderly residents, the new car, which has no controls, steering wheel or pedals, could see more elderly people getting out and about and improve their sense of independence.

It is hoped that, should the car be successful, it could improve road safety and the mobility of millions of people across the world that rely on stair lifts in the home and other such aids to get around.

Safety first

According to the Google Official Blog, the most important aspect of the Google Self-Driving Car Project was safety. The car features sensors covering all blind spots and it can even detect objects up to two football pitches’ distance away. With such features and innovative technology, aspects of these new cars could be used in the future to improve road safety for both drivers and pedestrians as well as transforming mobility for those who find it difficult to get around.

The first cars have been capped at 25 mph in speed in order to maintain safety through their trials as the organisers behind the project look to learn from the car, as detailed in this video. Director of the Self-Driving Car Project, Chris Urmson described the venture as ‘an important step toward improving road safety and transforming mobility for millions of people’ and how it could improve the lives of elderly people across the world as ‘seniors can keep their freedom even if they can’t keep their car keys’.

While there are many different safety features and mobility aids available for older people in the home such as accessible walk in baths and hand rails, the self-driving car by Google looks to revolutionise road safety and independence for such people around the world. While it may be a long way off becoming readily available to the public, the self-drive car looks to be a step in the right direction for elderly independence and safety.

Image Credit: Carlos Luna (flickr.com)

This content was written by Emily Bray. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.