A Canadian Globe and Mail article details the motivations of Stanford University roboticist, Sebastian Thrun. His elderly father caused a car accident while driving, resulting in the loss of his father's driver's license and a gradual decline in his health. This got Thrun thinking about how robots could help and eventually led to his work on autonomous robot cars. He predicts we'll see a gradual transition from the totally manual cars of today to cars that assist with parking, accident avoidence and, eventually, can handle the entire task of driving if we want. The article also talks about other robots that could help the elderly get around such as robot wheel chairs that are smart enough to avoid obstacles and navigate their occupant safely to the desired destination.