Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register
  • The final cut of the 9th episode of the Tesla Motors Club Podcast, featuring Chad Schwitters, the former president of Plug In America, is now available. You can watch it now on YouTube or listen to it on all major podcast networks.

Tesla for 80 year old?

Onabeach

New Member
Apr 13, 2021
3
0
wi
Hi Everyone,

Is a new Tesla model 3 an appropiate car for an 80 yo couple? My sister was just involved in an accedent where she fell asleep and she and her husband need a new car. I tried to convince them to stop driving but they will not consider that option. Since Tesla is about the safest car to drive they are considering it.
But of course they are very high tech averse and can barely manage thier phones. The nearest Tesla dealer is 150 miles away. I am even further away. Can a new Tesla be set up and delivered to them that would not need alot of additional tweeking and service? How steep would the learning curve be for them?

Thanks for your input.
 
If they're like my 82 year old father in law who can't even order food on the Wawa smart screen then not a chance
If they're like my 76 year old father who enjoys tech then yes

The regenerative braking may confuse them, There will be no gear shifter, no radio knob, and everything that they're used to, etc etc
all depends on how willing they are to learn
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,309
18,120
Riverside Co. CA
I dont think a tesla model 3 is the appropriate car for someone you describe as "tech averse, can hardly handle their phones".

The age doesnt have that much to do with it other than as people get older, some get more "stuck in their ways". It would be a steep learning curve, with the fact that, especially on a model 3, there is no traditional dash, everything is interacted with the tablet, etc, a need to get home charging or spend a bunch of time at a supercharger, etc.

As you mention, its likely they wont be driving much longer (or that they should be driving at all), so you should convince them to buy car they are comfortable with / used to. Their reaction time is already much slower, IF they are going to drive, they should be driving something they are comfortable with.

To nip the inevitable next comments in the bud, no "full self driving" is not an appropriate stopgap for this situation.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
10,754
9,798
Visalia, CA
...80 yo couple?...

I agree that it's not about age but it's about their ability.

If they can make mistakes on foot pedals on other cars then they can do the same with Tesla too. The difference is: Other gasoline cars are not as instantly powerful as Tesla. Tesla Model 3 can go full power in less than 3.1 seconds and currently, there's no technology to prevent them from pedal misapplications.

Current Tesla's technology (even FSD) still requires a competent driver to prevent accidents. If the driver allows the technology to do it all then, collisions, injuries, and fatalities can still happen.

If they are a good driver to start with, Tesla's technology can help them to be better.

If they are a bad driver to start with, Tesla's technology can get them in big trouble.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ciaopec
I dont think a tesla model 3 is the appropriate car for someone you describe as "tech averse, can hardly handle their phones".
Yes, that's what I am thinking as well. Maybe the day will come when they can jump in a Tesla and say take me to the dentist and not worry about the driving, but I am not sure if that will come before they depart the earth or not. Would be a great solution if that were the case :) My wife is a good 20 years younger and she doesn't like driving the Tesla because she is not used to the differences and doesn't even want to try. Not tech savvy either.

Another thing that comes to mind is that the model 3 is much lower to the ground than I like. Not as easy for me to get in and out of the car at my age. That's why we like our MX. Feels more spacious and higher off the ground. BUT, that's just us I guess.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: jjrandorin
I'm gonna say no based on your description. I agree the Y might be more comfortable but for someone not so tech savvy, I think a Tesla might be a lot to get used to at once. Might be more dangerous than something like an ICE crossover with the usual driver display and buttons. I would think the last thing you'd want to do with someone older and non-techie is to dump them in a Tesla.

Mike
 

Frank99

April 2018 Model 3 LR RWD, EAP, FSD
Apr 7, 2016
402
546
Arizona
I disagree with the tech naysayers here.

i think it would be easy to set up the car in a way that they would enjoy, and have even less to worry about. Enable Chill, set regen to low(if they buy used), find a streaming station they like, turn on lane departure assistance, and it’ll be an appliance that they’re familiar with. They won’t need to go through menus or change options; it’ll just work the way they’re used to, but they won’t have to hit the gas station, get oil changes, etc.

just because a Tesla had all kinds of tech doesn’t mean you have to use it.

if you could train them to use AP on the highway, it’ll likely be safer for them. Hard to fall asleep and crash if falling asleep means the car comes to a stop.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dmagyar

Onabeach

New Member
Apr 13, 2021
3
0
wi
Thanks for all the great advice. I did wonder about the difficulity for them about getting in and out of a Model 3, but thier previous car was a Yaris. I thought they should get a big ol' Buick! But the safety features of a Tesla are very compelling for them.
 

ChadS

Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
3,434
2,879
Redmond, WA
My Dad is less than a month from 80. He is pretty tech averse - he carries an old flip phone, but rarely turns it on. He manages to use his computer for email and powerpoint, but that's pretty much it.

Yet he bought a Model 3 in 2018 and absolutely loves it. When Sentry/Teslacam were introduced I bought him a memory card to use them, but installing it was too much for him. He doesn't use the screen much; he pretty much just gets in and drives the car using the wheel, stalks and pedals. I bought him a lanyard and cover for his keycard, which he wears around his neck.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,309
18,120
Riverside Co. CA
I disagree with the tech naysayers here.

i think it would be easy to set up the car in a way that they would enjoy, and have even less to worry about. Enable Chill, set regen to low(if they buy used), find a streaming station they like, turn on lane departure assistance, and it’ll be an appliance that they’re familiar with. They won’t need to go through menus or change options; it’ll just work the way they’re used to, but they won’t have to hit the gas station, get oil changes, etc.

just because a Tesla had all kinds of tech doesn’t mean you have to use it.

if you could train them to use AP on the highway, it’ll likely be safer for them. Hard to fall asleep and crash if falling asleep means the car comes to a stop.

Regardless of all that, there are still things that people have to interact with the car with, that can be worked around but would be confusing or even dangerous to someone who is tech averse.

One prime example of this is the "auto wipers". No traditional stalk, and we all know they do not work in the automatic function as well as most other cars. They can be turned on and off with voice commands, or changing them on the screen, but I shutter to think of someone who is described as tech averse, in the rain or snow, with wipers not moving fast enough, and no "familiar" stalk to turn up.

Thats just one example of something that could be supremely impactful, and even dangerous for someone who is tech averse and doesnt want to (or not quite capable of) learning the tech.

Some settings can be set ahead of time, but regen braking cant be turned off (only down) so the driving experience will be different than what they are used to. Keeping in mind that they likely wont be driving for too much longer, it seems to me that it would be better to have them in something that is familiar, comfortable etc (based on the description of the OP).

If they were described as "80 year old people who love learning new tech and trying new things" my advice would be different.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gasaraki
Thanks for all the great advice. I did wonder about the difficulity for them about getting in and out of a Model 3, but thier previous car was a Yaris. I thought they should get a big ol' Buick! But the safety features of a Tesla are very compelling for them.

There are other vehicles that offer similar, if not better safety features than Tesla.

Safety features Tesla does not have:

WORKING Blind Spot Assist
360 Cameras
Rear cross-traffic detection alert
Blind spot camera on signal (Honda and Huyndai)
Driver attention warning

This is a list available on cars as reasonably priced as Kia, Honda, Huyndai, etc. Tesla is not some kind of innovator or leader in safety. It does have good ratings, but is far from being alone in that.

Given the fact that they are tech adverse, I would advise against Tesla. Plenty of cheaper, more practical, and tech-adverse friendly vehicles that they can chose from. Certainly anything modern will be a huge step up from a Yaris.
 

Phlier

Bluebird
Jun 12, 2019
2,235
4,223
Utah
There are other vehicles that offer similar, if not better safety features than Tesla.

Safety features Tesla does not have:

WORKING Blind Spot Assist
360 Cameras
Rear cross-traffic detection alert
Blind spot camera on signal (Honda and Huyndai)
Driver attention warning

This is a list available on cars as reasonably priced as Kia, Honda, Huyndai, etc. Tesla is not some kind of innovator or leader in safety. It does have good ratings, but is far from being alone in that.

Given the fact that they are tech adverse, I would advise against Tesla. Plenty of cheaper, more practical, and tech-adverse friendly vehicles that they can chose from. Certainly anything modern will be a huge step up from a Yaris.
Completely agree. While some of the driver assistance (and other) features on new cars can be confusing, the basic car functionality remains mostly the same as it has for the last couple of decades; a gas pedal that works the same, brake pedal, PRNDL gear selector, etc. If you can drive a car made in the last 30 years, you'll do fine in any of these new cars, as long as the advanced features aren't needed.

But a Tesla is a completely different animal.

To the OP:

I don't agree with stereotyping older people in such a way as "is a Tesla appropriate for an 80 year old driver?" as it is very dependent on the individual. I know a few 30 year old drivers I wouldn't want to see get a Tesla, yet my 91 year old Father would take to it immediately.
 
If FSD was real then yes but it isn't and won't be for years. They shouldn't be driving, period. My mother put herself in the hospital when she was in her mid 80s, drove into a fence when she was parking and the airbag broke some ribs. She was developing Alzheimer's and nobody knew it until this accident. My mother never drove again after that.

Even if your sister and husband were fully capable of driving a car, and it doesn't sound like she is, then a Tesla would still be a terrible choice for them. If you brother in law was a retired engineer and he loved tech then yes but given that that they aren't techys it's just going to confuse them. Couple that with the fact that the nearest service center is 150 miles away and there is no way that a Tesla would fit their needs. There are other cars that are safe and are more conventional and have nearby service, but getting any new car is a bad choice. They need to learn how to use Uber.
 
Yeah, it's not about the age. It's more about the mentality. Why not take them on a test drive and see? Of course, any Tesla can be driven like any other car. The question becomes that of familiarity and being comfortable with it. I know some 80+ year olds who would get in and immediately be intimidated no matter what "mode' it is in. They'd say, "Oh, this is too much". Others would see the information they need for driving and say, "I'm fine with that" and wouldn't think twice about it. It's that initial reaction that would probably dictate how well they would do with the car. If they feel intimidated by it (in any way), that's their initial impression and they're probably not going to get over it.

Mike
 

dmurphy

Active Member
Supporting Member
I dont think a tesla model 3 is the appropriate car for someone you describe as "tech averse, can hardly handle their phones".

The age doesnt have that much to do with it other than as people get older, some get more "stuck in their ways". It would be a steep learning curve, with the fact that, especially on a model 3, there is no traditional dash, everything is interacted with the tablet, etc, a need to get home charging or spend a bunch of time at a supercharger, etc.

As you mention, its likely they wont be driving much longer (or that they should be driving at all), so you should convince them to buy car they are comfortable with / used to. Their reaction time is already much slower, IF they are going to drive, they should be driving something they are comfortable with.

To nip the inevitable next comments in the bud, no "full self driving" is not an appropriate stopgap for this situation.

Agreed 200%.

My mother in law and my father are both approximately the same age. For her, I'd recommend (at best) a Bolt. For him, a Model Y.

Completely different folks - technophobe vs technophile.

Long winding story but my wife's grandfather passed away in 2016 at 97 years old. I'm just sad I didn't get my first Tesla before that -- he would've LOVED it. Just a month or so before he passed, he asked me to help reset his App Store password... So of course I did, and asked what he was trying to download. Turns out he needed to download a CAD app so he could do some drawings for a patent he was working on. Miss that guy like hell. What a life - he was born 15 years after the Wright Brothers' first flight and saw it all. And man oh man, would he have LOVED the Model 3.
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
4,230
3,932
Maine
Hi Everyone,

Is a new Tesla model 3 an appropiate car for an 80 yo couple? My sister was just involved in an accedent where she fell asleep and she and her husband need a new car. I tried to convince them to stop driving but they will not consider that option. Since Tesla is about the safest car to drive they are considering it.
But of course they are very high tech averse and can barely manage thier phones. The nearest Tesla dealer is 150 miles away. I am even further away. Can a new Tesla be set up and delivered to them that would not need alot of additional tweeking and service? How steep would the learning curve be for them?

Thanks for your input.
Can they use an iPad? If not, then I'd say it's probably not a great idea. Presumably, they can get home delivery, but that's via 3rd-party, so the driver is not going to be providing much if any help. You will likely have to be there to help set them up.
 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top