I might be overly optimistic, but I have seen the AV technology in action and I have no doubt that it will reach a point where reliable and safe AVs will be deployed in large numbers. But I wonder about the costs of transportation and the willingness of people to pay for it. For instance, most American's spend about $700/month on a privately owned vehicle (gas, car payment, insurance, maintenance, repairs, etc.). So... more »
Continue the Conversation: AVs Driving Employment for People with Disabilities
I think it is great that almost all the disabilities are included in the report, but what is missing is emotional disability. Here is a suggestion, why not have NAMII (national alliance on mental illness l) included as part of the discussion. My suggestion on how to improve cars for people with mental illness, is that medications makes them sleepy behind the wheel and therefore we should try to improve the cars alert... more »
Transportation network companies should require that the vehicles they purchase from OEMs be accessible.
A business case was made for looking at cost through the lens of savings to employers and healthcare providers when employees or patients show up for work or appointments, rather than missing these activities due to a lack of transportation.
The Federal Government needs to take the lead in developing standards for designing accessible vehicles.
AVs will need an automated tie-down mechanism to secure wheelchairs since there will not be a driver to assist.
AV developers need to leverage the user's smart phone, since accessibility features are built in that can allow the user to interact successfully with an app that sets pickup location, destination, and other vehicle controls while en route (e.g. the Lyft or Uber app).
AV developers should design features that reduce anxiety, such as confirmation that the user has entered the right vehicle and has arrived at the desired destination, special lighting, and trip progress alerts.
TNCs are partnering with cognitive disability advocacy organizations to provide rides to work, subsidized by the state.
OEMs should design accessible vehicles from the ground up, rather than retrofitting existing vehicle designs, which involves major, invasive electronic and hardware modifications.
States should not require driver's licenses to operate a highly automated vehicle; this would prevent those who are blind, older Americans who have lost the ability to drive, and people with cognitive disabilities from reaping the benefits of the technology.
States should provide wrap-around services to people with disabilities to ensure successful use of AVs, including travel training.
Standards are needed to ensure that AVs can accommodate all wheelchair sizes and weights, using low floors, ramps, or lifts, and standards are needed for wheelchairs to ensure they can be used in/with AVs.
AV developers should ensure that users who are Deaf or hard of hearing are able to interact with the vehicle through alternatives to voice-activated controls.
Wayfinding and safety information should be available to blind and low vision users, including tools for finding the vehicle, safely exiting the vehicle (avoiding getting out in oncoming traffic), and finding the door to one's destination.