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The ageing society and reactions of the automobile industry—A case study

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents results from a research project concerning the adjustments of Japan's automobile industry to the ageing society. Elderly people cause more accidents on the few kilometres they drive, and both injury and fatality rates increase dramatically with advanced age. The Fitness to drive is understood as the ability to drive a vehicle safely. Even though restricted eyesight is one of the major constrictions, the solution is not necessarily to enlarge the instruments on the dashboard, but rather to create instruments providing clear contrast, easily readable numbers, and a clear-cut structure. All Japanese carmakers are developing and bringing to market cars that are suitable for elderly drivers, without necessarily marketing them as vehicles for the "silver generation". The segment of "welfare vehicles", aiming at elderly people, is especially strong, focusing on restricted driving abilities.

Keywords: ageing society; elderly drivers; Japan's automobile industry; Japanese carmakers

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