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167531-1 Report Abstract

Intelligent Transportation Systems to Improve Elderly Persons’ Mobility and Decision Making within Departure Time Choice Framework

Anna R. Okola and C. Michael Walton, University of Texas at Austin, June 2003, 77 pp. (167531-1)

There is a general assumption that the elderly are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with technology – that has been the premise for most studies researching the benefits of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) for elderly drivers. While the preconceived notions about technology and the elderly may ring true for older generations of the elderly, a marked change is to be expected for current and future elderly cohorts, as these groups are more likely to have grown up with the technology, or watched and participated in its development. In addition, currently available technologies such as in-vehicle systems are still considered luxury add-ons, and have been purchased by the elderly. Thus the question arises how ITS can enhance elderly persons’ mobility given that the society is generally aging, and that society is becoming more accustomed to new technologies. However, the challenge of predicting benefits for an aging cohort that is not yet elderly is two-fold, first the underlying assumption that behavior patterns will not change may have serious implications and secondly, the technologies themselves are still developing, and as such, the effects, in many cases, are yet to be observed. A dynamic assessment model is then needed to evaluate transportation systems for the society at large and the elderly in particular.

Keywords: Intelligent Transportation Systems, ITS, Mobility, Elderly, Advanced Traveler Information Systems, ATIS, Travel Behavior

ENTIRE REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 469 KB)