USDOT should encourage state DOTs and transit agencies partnering with or hosting AV testing or deployment to respond to the community's needs, particularly those in the disability community, low income, and communities of color, in rural and tribal areas that are often underserved. Agencies must engage these communities to identify problems and solutions, acknowledge the wealth of knowledge derived from experience, and incentivize participation in the planning and testing process. Agencies must educate and engage its ridership regarding AV plans, testing and deployment; remain flexible; and respond to questions, concerns, and feedback.
In addition to ensuring vehicle accessibility, measures must be taken to ensure access to service for unbanked individuals or those without a smartphone, and access in all neighborhoods where a need has been identified. The Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, and Executive Order 12898 provide essential protections against discrimination and a roadmap for ensuring full access.