Retiring Drivers get an Assist from Uber


Kathy Baker, a top executive at Lawrence Livermore (CA) Lab, was enjoying her morning gym workout when an 80-year-old woman slammed her car into the gym, killing Baker and injuring six others. This tragic incident – the result of “pedal confusion” – has driven Elderly Drivers back into the news and re-sparked public debate on how to ensure that only competent older drivers are allowed to drive on our streets.

For many older drivers, the fear of giving up their keys is second only to their fear of death. They see losing their driver’s license as a death sentence, the death of their independence and their ability to access the community. This is especially true in areas without convenient public transportation. So what is a retired driver to do?

Until self-driving cars become a reality, there is uberASSIST. Launched in July, 2015, uberASSIST is an on-demand transportation service for elderly and disabled people. It’s not available in every city or burb, but it’s spreading quickly and, perhaps more importantly, spawning imitators.

According to Uber, “uberASSIST is designed to provide additional assistance to members of the senior and people with disabilities. Driver-partners are specifically trained by Open Doors Organization to assist riders into vehicles and can accommodate folding wheelchairs, walkers, and scooters.opton specifically designed to help elderly and disabled people.

For a quick look at Uber’s ASSIST in action, click here.