Abstract

Future adaptations in vehicle design should be linked in some parts to the age-related changes often faced by the older users. The aim of this research is to investigate the multiple age-related changes of Chinese older vehicle users in order to assist designers to better understand current and future older users' needs. Although qualitative interpretative approaches have rarely been applied in the field of traffic gerontology research, they are widely used in current design research to explore persons' lived experiences, behaviours and emotions. Therefore, this study employed qualitative research methods consisting of observation, interview, travel logbook and co-discovery to explore older vehicle users' travel needs. The interpretative analysis confirmed that multiple methods such as interview, travel logbook, and co-discovery are useful to gain a holistic understanding of older drivers' travel needs. However, the one journey driving observation cannot provide valuable categories to explore older users' multiple travel needs due to daily living context absence in the one trip experiment. It is clear that the useful methods for determining research for older users will depend on the product. The findings demonstrate that Chinese future older generations are more concerned about their age-related differences from social and cultural perspective rather than physiological perspective. Social and cultural context play important role to shape older vehicle users' future travel needs. From design a point of view, understanding the social activity and cultural context surrounds older vehicle users should make it possible to predict older drivers' needs related to vehicle property.

Keywords:

Older Vehicle Users; Cultural Context; Social Context; Vehicle Design; Qualitative Research

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Jul 16th, 12:00 AM

Understanding Older Vehicle Users: An Interpretative Approach

Future adaptations in vehicle design should be linked in some parts to the age-related changes often faced by the older users. The aim of this research is to investigate the multiple age-related changes of Chinese older vehicle users in order to assist designers to better understand current and future older users' needs. Although qualitative interpretative approaches have rarely been applied in the field of traffic gerontology research, they are widely used in current design research to explore persons' lived experiences, behaviours and emotions. Therefore, this study employed qualitative research methods consisting of observation, interview, travel logbook and co-discovery to explore older vehicle users' travel needs. The interpretative analysis confirmed that multiple methods such as interview, travel logbook, and co-discovery are useful to gain a holistic understanding of older drivers' travel needs. However, the one journey driving observation cannot provide valuable categories to explore older users' multiple travel needs due to daily living context absence in the one trip experiment. It is clear that the useful methods for determining research for older users will depend on the product. The findings demonstrate that Chinese future older generations are more concerned about their age-related differences from social and cultural perspective rather than physiological perspective. Social and cultural context play important role to shape older vehicle users' future travel needs. From design a point of view, understanding the social activity and cultural context surrounds older vehicle users should make it possible to predict older drivers' needs related to vehicle property.

 

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