New report calls for elderly and disabled to embrace travel technology

A new study claims that 80 per cent of people aged 60 and over would not use journey planning websites, apps or text messages to gain travel information to improve their travel experiences.

However, those behind the research, The Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) and ITS UK, believe this is a missed opportunity and are calling for a fresh approach to designing technology which appeals more to people in this group.

According to the report, Meeting the needs of older and disabled travellers, there is little or no awareness among the elderly and disabled of the potential benefits of using a smartphone to receive up-to-date travel advice.

Although the use of data to produce fast and responsive travel data is increasing, the slow uptake of smart technology in more vulnerable groups has been slow.

Improving The Public Transport Experience

"Over recent years our public transport system has benefited from improvements to physical infrastructure and service provision," claimed Sahar Danesh, principal policy advisor at the IET.

"The rapid growth in new technologies represents an even bigger opportunity to improve people's experience of public transport.

"If we can find a way to encourage older and disabled people to embrace this technology, many of them could enjoy fully independent travel instead of becoming housebound or relying on relatives and carers as they do today.

"The potential implications for their quality of life - and for the economy - are huge," Danesh added.

The study claims that full stakeholder engagement is required between industry, travel operators, government, engineering professionals and users to ensure a joined-up approach to ensuring technology has a greater focus on inclusivity and mobility.