Why the New Mobility Revolution Leaves Seniors Behind

Elders are being left out of the new mobility revolution — and if we don’t learn from the failures of the rise of e-taxis, the transportation challenges of older Americans will only compound with the rise of autonomous vehicles, a new study argues.

A coalition of researchers developed a framework to help transportation providers proactively address the under-discussed barriers that aging Americans face when they attempt to use new mobility services like e-taxis, shared scooters, and bikeshare. But the study’s authors say that there’s even more work to do when it comes to preparing America for the rise of driverless cars — which they say could happen fast, whether we like it or not.

“We’ve heard from a lot from advocates over the years that AVs are going to solve mobility problem for older adults, and we’ve always kind of been left scratching our heads about that,” said Jana Lynott of AARP, which co-authored the report with the Urbanism Next Center at the University of Oregon and RAND Corporation.