Accessibility for Passengers with Sensory or Cognitive Disabilities

Matching AV services with categories of disabled passengers

"Some" Autonomous Vehicle service providers may be able to provide vehicles to passengers who would otherwise be fully capable of driving the vehicle themselves; this is what taxis and ride-sharing companies do. But the interface between those passengers and the vehicle will obviously demand a computer that is "as good as" the local knowledge and communication skills of a human driver--if not better. Also obviously, this computer and interface design may face passengers with limited abilities. Some of these can be easily accommodated--especially for blind or deaf passengers--while others require more than i8st advanced software programming along with screens, speakers, and microphones. At what point can businesses providing AV transportation services deploy vehicles that are NOT accessible to passengers with ALL kinds of disabilities? As long as ride-sharing continues to be available, shouldn't we allow the first wave of AV services to launch their businesses without "regulation" as far as accessibility is concerned?

I can envision a business with some AV units that fail to accommodate, say, wheelchair passengers and other units that have easy roll-in and strap-down robotics. Is "access" going to be denied to all people just because the mobility impaired might have to wait longer or choose a different business?

I think the "standards" ought to apply to the various ways for each disability to be accommodated but that a vehicle not intended to be used by the disabled should not need to meet those standards. I don't want to see the ludicrous situation repeated such as now when disabled people make a career out of suing businesses who fail to accommodate them. In fact, I think we should make such frivolous lawsuits a criminal offense. I'd rather have NO regulation at all than to have the disaster called ADA invade the AV industry.


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Idea No. 576