Image credit: BorderMail, taken by: David Thorpe
Yesterday an 89 year old man crashed into six parked cars and hit a man in Wodonga. The elderly man turned the corner, then mounted the kerb and ran into three cars parked in the Safeway car park. He then reversed his car and clipped a man who had stopped to help. He did manage to stop the vehicle eventually, but not before taking out a sign and hitting at least three more cars.
While some may be quick to jump to the conclusion that a man of this age shouldn’t hold a licence, I take a different approach. He clearly lost control of his vehicle, despite decades of experience behind the wheel. As old age takes hold of the human body, reaction times and mobility reduce, that’s just science.
Despite the dramatic result of his drive, his objective of daily duties remains. The solution shouldn’t be to remove his licence, but rather implement the available technologies to keep him mobile for many years to come. After all the cake and watermelon, isn’t that what technology is for? To make our lives better?
The fact is that on the other side of the world, tech-giant Google has self-driving vehicle technology that could have prevented this accident. Clocking up more than 300,000 miles these cars detect their surroundings and adjust accordingly, delivering passengers safely to their destination.
Those that love driving will fiercely deny this is the future, however the potential benefits so clearly make this the future of transportation. No matter if its Google or someone else, self-driving cars will change our roads and society for the better, it’s just a matter of time. With incidents like the one above, it may be the elderly that take advantage of the technology first.
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