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Increasing mobility for older travellers through engagement with technology

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Joan Harvey, Dr Amy Guo, Simon Edwards



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


The number of older people, especially those over 85, is set to increase right across the developed world, and with it their needs for mobility and transport in societies with growing dependence on technology. Whilst technology has the potential to deliver significant benefits to older people, enabling greater mobility and independence, it may also leave them unable or unwilling to engage with it, risking loss of independence.The aims of this paper are to consider what needs to change to enable greater numbers of older travellers to access transport technologies and what are the key barriers to engaging with new and emerging technologies for older people. Thus, the paper looks to extend the knowledge of how older people engage with technology in relation to their mobility and travelling. A thematic content analysis of interviews with 32 older people and 4 experts yielded findings relating to technology use, examples of good design, and characteristics of older people’s interactions with technology. The recommendations relate to the two core research aims, including ergonomics and design, the need for security and trust, the traveller controlling the technology, the importance of user-centered design and the need for personalised and bespoke travelling arrangements for older travellers.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Harvey J, Guo W, Edwards S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour

Year: 2019

Volume: 60

Pages: 172-184

Print publication date: 01/01/2019

Online publication date: 02/11/2018

Acceptance date: 18/10/2018

Date deposited: 29/10/2018

ISSN (print): 1369-8478

ISSN (electronic): 1873-5517

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.trf.2018.10.019


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