Are semi-autonomous cars the future?


Ever dreamed of test driving the latest in automobile technology but thought you were ‘too old’?

For 23 Canberra residents aged in their 70s, it is a dream come true as they get behind the wheel to test drive hi-tech automated cars.

They’re taking part in a trial looking at how automated vehicles can help older drivers and the impact on their behaviour.

Driverless cars could help the ageing population


Automated and semi-autonomous cars have the potential to increase mobility for people who would otherwise be unable to drive or may be an increased crash risk.

They have the potential to help keep older people connected with their family and local community, especially in areas with limited public transport services.

The trial could also benefit older peoples’ self-esteem by making it easier and safer to keep driving.

Losing your driving licence because of ageing can be traumatic and lead to isolation, loss of social contact, and poor health and wellbeing.

The trial is being run by the University of Canberra, the ACT Government, and Canberra-based computer vision company, Seeing Machines.

Participants are being put through their paces at the Sutton Road Driver Training Centre at Majura to test how they respond to a car that can partly drive itself.

Results of the trial will be released in November.

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