Autonomous vehicles (AVs) developed with the proper policies will help make independence and economic self-sufficiency possible for people who are blind or have other disabilities. To ensure that people with disabilities can access and benefit from AVs and ensure state and federal policies do not preclude people with disabilities from accessing AVs, ODEP and SAFE should adopt the National Council on Disability’s (NCD) “Recommendations for Preventing or Eliminating Technological, Policy, and Societal Barriers to the Independent Use of Autonomous Vehicles by People with Disabilities” listed in NCD’s 2015 Self-Driving Cars: Mapping Access to a Technology Revolution. Please see the link below for a complete copy of the NCD publication. Specifically, ODEP should work with the Department of Transportation (DOT) to create a framework recommendation that ensures state licensing rules do not preclude people with disabilities from operating level 4 and 5 autonomous vehicles. Finally, people with disabilities should be consulted by NHSTA throughout the process of creating any legislative recommendations to the states and federal government on AVs.
Please feel free to contact Leif Brierley with any questions or comments at Leif.Brierley@powerslaw.com.
Link to NCD Publication "Self Driving Cars: Mapping Access to a Technology Revolution": https://www.ncd.gov/sites/default/files/NCD_AutomatedVehiclesReport_508-PDF.pdf