Cana­dian se­niors poised to lead the au­tonomous ve­hi­cle rev­o­lu­tion

The McLeod River Post - - News -

Traf­fic In­jury Re­search Foun­da­tion sub­mits new re­search re­sults to House of Com­mons Stand­ing Com­mit­tee’s “Au­to­mated and Con­nected Ve­hi­cles in Canada” study

- New re­search con­ducted by the Traf­fic In­jury Re­search Foun­da­tion (TIRF) sug­gests se­nior driv­ers in Canada could play a lead­er­ship role in the safe adop­tion of semi-au­to­mated ve­hi­cles as Cana­dian road­ways tran­si­tion from tra­di­tional ve­hi­cles to in­creas­ingly au­to­mated ve­hi­cles. The study, funded by the Toy­ota Canada Foun­da­tion, an­a­lyzed data from a sur­vey re­gard­ing the knowl­edge, at­ti­tudes and prac­tices of 2,662 Cana­di­ans as well as fo­cus groups with se­nior driv­ers. Re­sults were sum­ma­rized in writ­ten tes­ti­mony that was sub­mit­ted in re­sponse to a call for sub­mis­sions to the “Au­to­mated and Con­nected Ve­hi­cles in Canada” study be­ing con­ducted by the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on Trans­port, In­fra­struc­ture and Com­mu­ni­ties of the House of Com­mons.

The TIRF study was con­ducted to bet­ter un­der­stand the per­cep­tions and at­ti­tudes of se­nior driv­ers to­wards semi-au­to­mated ve­hi­cles, and to un­der­stand how their knowl­edge and be­liefs can in­flu­ence the like­li­hood they will rely on this tech­nol­ogy to im­prove their safety on the road and in­crease their mo­bil­ity.

Re­sults of the study showed that se­nior driv­ers rec­og­nize the po­ten­tial of semi-au­to­mated ve­hi­cles to keep them on the roads longer and safer. “Our find­ings were sur­pris­ing and showed that older driv­ers are ac­tu­ally quite re­cep­tive to us­ing semi-au­to­mated ve­hi­cles,” said Robyn Robert­son, Pres­i­dent and CEO of TIRF. “This seems coun­ter­in­tu­itive as the adop­tion of a new tech­nol­ogy is typ­i­cally more as­so­ci­ated with a young de­mo­graphic.”

Given their re­cep­tiv­ity to learn­ing about au­to­mated ve­hi­cles and their dis­in­cli­na­tion to en­gage in risky driv­ing be­hav­iours, re­searchers con­cluded that se­nior driv­ers could lead the semi-au­to­mated ve­hi­cle rev­o­lu­tion, if cer­tain con­di­tions are met. With this in mind, sev­eral rec­om­men­da­tions were for­mu­lated for the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee’s con­sid­er­a­tion, in­clud­ing:

• The cre­ation of ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties about semi­au­to­mated ve­hi­cles for se­nior driv­ers.

• Fo­cus ed­u­ca­tion on safety and per­for­mance of semi-au­to­mated ve­hi­cles.

• Em­pha­size pri­vacy and cy­ber se­cu­rity safe­guards.

• Tai­lor de­liv­ery of ed­u­ca­tion to the needs of se­nior driv­ers, for ex­am­ple by mak­ing sure op­por­tu­ni­ties for prac­ti­cal learn­ing are pro­vided.

Cana­di­ans aged 65 years and older cur­rently rep­re­sent one in seven Cana­di­ans. In the next two decades, the pop­u­la­tion of se­niors will grow to more than 10 mil­lion and will ac­count for one in four Cana­di­ans. As one of the largest age co­horts, older adults will rep­re­sent a sig­nif­i­cant seg­ment of the driv­ing pop­u­la­tion.

Se­nior driv­ers are among the safest driv­ers be­cause of their ac­cu­mu­lated years of driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and ex­po­sure to all types of road en­vi­ron­ments and con­di­tions. “It ap­pears that se­nior driv­ers are poised to lead the trans­for­ma­tion of our coun­try’s ve­hi­cle fleet,” says Toy­ota Canada Foun­da­tion board mem­ber, Larry Hutchin­son. “They pos­sess im­por­tant char­ac­ter­is­tics that make them ideal can­di­dates for safe early adop­tion of this tech­nol­ogy.”

Hutchin­son con­cluded: “The TIRF study shows that se­niors’ abil­ity to adapt to a new ve­hi­cle and road en­vi­ron­ment could help to set stan­dards re­gard­ing ed­u­ca­tion and skills that driv­ers of all ages should pos­sess to safely use in­creas­ingly au­to­mated ve­hi­cles. How­ever, to ben­e­fit from this, some im­por­tant bar­ri­ers must be con­sid­ered. Our hope is that the House Com­mit­tee will con­sider the rec­om­men­da­tions for­mu­lated in the TIRF study.”

The Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on Trans­port, In­fra­struc­ture and Com­mu­ni­ties of the House of Com­mons pri­mar­ily stud­ies the leg­is­la­tion, poli­cies and pro­grams, and other is­sues of na­tional im­por­tance re­lated to trans­porta­tion, in­fra­struc­ture, and Cana­dian cities and com­mu­ni­ties as well as the op­er­a­tions of Trans­port Canada and In­fra­struc­ture Canada. They are cur­rently con­duct­ing an “Au­to­mated and Con­nected Ve­hi­cles in Canada” study and have called for sub­mis­sions from in­ter­ested par­ties.

Down­load House Brief on Se­nior Driv­ers & Au­to­mated Ve­hi­cles: Knowl­edge, At­ti­tudes & Prac­tices http://tirf.ca/TIRFCAD18AAA

Down­load Se­nior Driv­ers & Au­to­mated Ve­hi­cles: Knowl­edge, At­ti­tudes & Prac­tices http://tirf.ca/TIRFCAD18JJ

Down­load Se­nior Driv­ers & Au­to­mated Ve­hi­cles: Knowl­edge, At­ti­tudes & Prac­tices Ex­ec­u­tive Summary http://tirf.ca/TIRFCAD18KK

Down­load Se­niors as Safe Early Adopters of Self-Driv­ing Ve­hi­cle Tech­nol­ogy – In­fo­graphic http://tirf.ca/TIRFCAD18MM

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