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New technologies for the old: Potential implications of living in later life for travel demand


  • Hubers, Christa
  • Lyons, Glenn


Assistive technologies for older people, such as personal tracking devices and community alarms, can facilitate living independently for longer. Where and how older people live will affect patterns of travel associated with their lifestyles and needs. They may remain in their own homes, those of relatives or in residential care homes. They may make minimal or extensive use of technologies. As such, assistive technologies represent an example of technological developments and their social uptake outside the field of transport. Such developments may, nevertheless, have an indirect impact on travel demand and one which may be quite substantial. This paper aims, through a series of expert interviews, to examine: (i) to what extent the mobility effects of technological developments (outside transport) are being considered within the transport sector; (ii) how important or relevant it is for such consideration to be given; and (iii) ways in which such impacts can be accounted for in travel demand analysis and policy decisions. What emerges is that such indirect impacts are considered very important but rarely are they examined. The transport experts interviewed noted various ways of increasing the integration between transport and other domains. Several saw more emphasis on these issues in the education of transport professionals as an important starting point. The paper concludes with the case for using scenario planning as a means to emphasise how the living arrangements for older people, facilitated through assistive technologies, could produce distinct and significant consequences for travel demand.

Suggested Citation

  • Hubers, Christa & Lyons, Glenn, 2013. "New technologies for the old: Potential implications of living in later life for travel demand," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 220-228.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:30:y:2013:i:c:p:220-228
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2013.08.005

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Johnson, Rebecca & Shaw, Jon & Berding, Jörn & Gather, Matthias & Rebstock, Markus, 2017. "European national government approaches to older people's transport system needs," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 17-27.


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