For baby boomers, the automobile is not just a means of transportation. It is a symbol of freedom and is also reflective of their sense of style. More than any generation, the boomers have made the largest impact on the automobile industry. For decades, they have decided what the country drives.
Even today, boomers are not ready to hang up their key chains just yet. If the latest trends are anything to go by, the technological advancements in the industry could actually work in their favor and help them rediscover their love of driving.
Technology Helps Older Drivers
One of the reasons why many people are hesitant to drive after a certain age is that they feel that their health problems restrict their driving abilities. Statistics show that over 80% of people in their 70s have arthritis and other such inflammatory disorders that affect the mobility of joints and reduce flexibility. Naturally, these people are not able to grip the steering wheel properly and drive safely as they once used to.
Up until a couple of decades ago, such people had to depend on other people to drive them around or get a cab any time they wanted to go out. The advancement in automobile technology, however, has made it unnecessary these days. Automobiles these days come equipped with around-view cameras, blind spot warnings, parking sensors, collision alert systems, and a host of other safety features that make driving a lot easier and safer for older people.
This is one case where technology is kind to older people.
Autonomous Cars Could Benefit Baby Boomers
Experts believe that the much anticipated driverless, autonomous car could benefit baby boomers immensely. A self-driving car is virtually self-sufficient and does not depend on the mobility or driving skills of the driver as much as a regular car does. So, it naturally is a perfect choice for older people.
Statistics show that for people over the age of 75, the fatality rate per mile traveled is larger than that of younger people. With autonomous cars, such worries could be rendered meaningless as collisions and fatality rates would come down significantly irrespective of the driving skills of the person behind the wheel. In fact, experts say that autonomous cars could bring down insurance prices considerably, as the risk of accidents is significantly lower with such cars.
But if you have seen the amazing movie of Fast and Furious 8 – you will know there is still risks when it comes to autonomous vehicles. They could get hacked in droves!
New Models in the Pipeline
Already, a number of automakers are thinking of coming up with autonomous cars that could make driving an effortless experience. One such example is the fuel-cell powered F015 Concept from Mercedes Benz, which could be summoned using your phone. Some other autonomous cars that prominent automakers are working on include the Autopilot 2.0 from Tesla, whose features include point-to-point autonomous driving, and the CT6 from Cadillac, which offers the option of hands-free highway travel.
Automakers Catering to Boomers
One of the reasons why automakers cater to the needs of boomers is that despite their age, they are wealthier than their younger counterparts (certainly the ones who chose to spend $100,000 on a useless Humanities or Psychology degree – that is not too smart!). For instance, in 2016, compact crossovers, which boomers have embraced wholeheartedly, outsold regular cars. So, automakers are very keen to address their needs and come up with technological improvements that will make driving easier for them.
In many ways, the self-driving car could be the ultimate retirement gift for boomers. It might allow them to age joyfully and be self-reliant, rather than idling away in a retirement home and depending on others to move them around.