AI-Driven Public Transportation for Older Adults


My conjecture for the technology section imagines a mobility solution driven by artificial intelligence and automation. Mobility aids that are meant for individual users such as scooters and walkers would be connected to the same system as a larger, more communal mobility aid, such as an autonomous shuttle bus for older adults. Artificial intelligence that has been integrated into the personal mobility aid would allow older adults to summon the shuttle to their exact location or to a designated shuttle stop. Users would simply need to activate the AI with a phrase (similar “Hey Siri” or “Alexa,”) and enter in their request. They would then get an ETA for the shuttle while their request is entered into a queuing system. Once the older adult has boarded the shuttle, screens located around the interior would give each adult on the bus an idea of the shuttle’s ETA at their intended destination. Each shuttle would have the capacity to transport up to 8 older adults at a time, with the idea being that a handful of shuttles would be driving around Upper Arlington simultaneously. Older adults on the shuttle would be able to speak to a human representative if needed through a video call screen on the bus. Meanwhile, interior space that would otherwise be allotted to a driver and steering mechanisms could instead be used to make the interior of the shuttle comfortable for users.