While Americans are living and working longer, they are also continuing to drive.
With the US population expected to reach 400 million by 2060, the growth of the over-65 set will account for more than half that increase. In 2016, more than 60% of the licensed driving population was over 65 and just 26% was 16, or the age of new drivers in many states, according to Nathaniel Bullard in Bloomberg View.
Many debate whether it’s safe for drivers of a certain age to remain behind the wheel. Yet loss of independence and mobility are typically seniors’ biggest concern, and many see the two as related. The Federal Highway Administration plans design changes to serve this population of older drivers, including signs that are more visible and intersections that pose less opportunity for crashes.
Here are some of the opportunities businesses are seizing upon to serve these older drivers:
- Ride-sharing startups like GoGoGrandparent are emerging to serve seniors who might not use smartphone apps.
- Carmakers can also monopolize on this group of consumers by making standard certain cruise control features as well as power seats and thicker steering wheels, which can aid aging and arthritic hands.
- Though baby boomers are less inclined to feel that driverless cars are safe, startups like Voyage are planning to bring their fleet to retirement communities.
- A 2015 study conducted by Uber found that 23% of its drivers were over 50. The company has also actively recruited senior drivers.