Accessibility for Passengers with Sensory or Cognitive Disabilities

Negative Impacts of Autonomous Vehicles & Infrastructure

Last Edited by edfomb

Follow-through has been sorely lacking from the 2005 Access Board NIBS Report with regards to electromagnetic radiation(EMR) sensitivity. And, this issue is not limited to indoor air quality or those people with EMR sensitivities.

Having worked on environmental issues for 50 years, I consider the proliferation of radiofrequency radiation (RFR, a range of EMR, to be the most important toxics issue of our time. Not necessarily because any one momentary exposure may be harmful but because RFR is a biologically active form of energetic air pollution that has become increasingly ubiquitous with the rise in wireless communications; whether handheld device, ground infrastructure,, vehicular applications or satellite-based. As you can see from many of the comments, it is a toxin that is in many cases, impossible to avoid. When a pollutant like RFR becomes widespread,exposure becomes involuntary to people, whether disabled or not, and to those without a voice, our precious wildlife and environment. Who wants to leave this lush island we live on and move to Mars besides Elan Musk? But, in this addictive and thoughtless rush to more technology, no matter the cost, we are likely killing ourselves.

Electrically sensitive people are excellent canaries and we are all susceptible. The rush towards autonomous vehicles is a mistake, not only for the obvious reasons that they cost more in energy to produce then continuing with older simpler vehicles, not only because of the highly toxic materials used in components-most typically lithium batteries, not only because of safety concerns from technological malfunctions or that they are prone to hacking, not only from their high costs, or environmental impacts from charging (where is all the electricity coming from and at what planetary costs?), but also because environmental perfusion with RFR, a known carcinogen, is required to provide these vehicles with their system guidance. What could be more stupid?

Problems with RFR exposure are not limited to the electrically sensitive (3-10% of the population) but extend according to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine to a much larger susceptible audience whose health conditions may well be exacerbated by RFR exposure.(See AAEM attachment) My blood cancer for instance has disabled me and I've been advised by my oncologist to limit exposure to even low levels of RFR like those potent pulsed emissions from smart electric meters. Imagine my dismay and reaction and ultimately immobility and isolation should a widespread network of wireless technology be established to support autonomous vehicles. The problem is growing now with the growth of GPS or otherwise wifi-enabled vehicles. I have a visor mounted radar detector in my car and in the last few years it is being activated by probably 30-50% of the vehicles on the road, all with little triangular roof-mounted antennas. This will be unbearable if roads are essentially lined with wireless infrastructure to support autonomous vehicles.

Today on the highway I was noticing not only the growing number of antenna laden towers but the extremely disturbing numbers of browned off needles on white pine trees. While pines do naturally drop their needles, there is plenty of good science showing detrimental effects to vegetation from RFR. Is the browning I'm seeing from natural or anthropogenic causes? Last I checked, trees and wildlife are not likely to have psychological responses to wireless exposures. (see attached India and EHT documents) While the health of the environment is not intuitively something the access board might bother to entertain, consider the well established benefits of nature to the disabled or access impaired. (See attached-Zhang et al) Please be sure to consider environmental effects in your considerations. They are an integral part of the whole and necessary for the well-being of all of us, disabled or not. Further saturation of the environment with a potent toxin necessary for high tech transportation is fundamentally flawed.

Thank you for your consideration.


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Idea No. 572


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