As someone who's been exploring the idea of equal on-demand transportation for people with disabilities, I feel we need to first solve the lack of WAVs (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles) on the networks of major TNCs like Uber and Lyft.
In most US cities, simply getting a human-driven on-demand WAV ride through Uber or Lyft is nearly impossible.
I believe solving this problem first will bring us much closer and move us much quicker towards accessible autonomous vehicles. It will provide opportunities to gradually test automated systems that allow wheelchair users to safely load, unload, and secure their wheelchairs independently.
Essentially: By focusing on achieving accessible on-demand transportation through TNCs today, we will in return solve the autonomous vehicle accessibility issues of tomorrow.
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