A few years back, my sister went to her mother-in-law’s house to take away her car keys. Alzheimer’s disease had taken hold of Joan, and it was no longer safe for her to drive to the supermarket and the beauty parlor. She gave the keys up without too much fuss, but it was an emotional moment. She lost her last strands of independence.
My parents have been closely following stories about Google’s self-driving car. They hope that the technology will be in place in the next ten years, so they don’t have to face the indignity of the removal of their car keys. They know what that means. My mother has a collection of older women that she shuffles to appointments and to the supermarket. Out here in the burbs, there isn’t adequate public transportation, so old people rely on the kindness of relatives and neighbors.
Timothy Lee discusses the incredible benefits of self-driving cars, but misses out on the obvious winners: the oldies.