Groups representing the disability community should communicate with automakers to ensure vehicles are being designed to meet their needs.
I have some concern that most pilot projects with autonomous vehicles seem to be leaving accessibility and universal design-related issues as secondary. We see a lot of publicity for autonomous vehicles in public transit and/or personal vehicles and how they will benefit the disability community and older adults, yet the pilot projects are not remotely accessible. Designing the vehicles with universal design NOW is critical, ...more »
The question of rural connectivity with autonomous vehicles (AVs) raises some thorny issues. Long distances will translate into higher costs even for AVs due to distance-related vehicle maintenance and lack of accessible streets for people to reach the AV at common points, though the cost of software updating should be a fixed cost for every type of area. If AVs are not a profitable enterprise in rural areas (the reason ...more »
I think for accessibility - some things should be universal - like choosing different languages, have text to voice, enhanced visual warnings for the deaf, wide doors, and things like that. But I don't think it would be cost effective - or maybe not even possible - to have all vehicles have all accessible options. For instance, my company provides accessible transportation which includes transportation for people confined ...more »
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-autonomous-vehicles-20161025-story.html Excerpt: Managing a road network with mixed driver-operated and autonomous vehicles will be complicated, and a major reduction in crashes — most of which are caused by human error — will not happen until just about all vehicles are autonomous or connected. Connected vehicles (CV) are not autonomous, but they do communicate with ...more »
I would invite both domestic and foreign car manufacturers to participate in this effort to develop affordable vehicles for those in the disability community. The payback to these manufacturers: kudos and tax breaks
The question of fault and liability in case of a crash is one of the unresolved questions that likely needs an answer before mass commercialization of autonomous vehicles occurs.
Create a national performance standard and design regulations and leave oversight of insurance, licensing, and other issues to the states.
The government should enact regulation to encourage equity in access to autonomous vehicles. People with disabilities and people facing barriers to employment are typically low income. It is important for governments to craft regulations that will enhance our community and quality of life. Thus, autonomous vehicles should be introduced as shared vehicles, available to the middle class. This would help ensure quality and ...more »
NHTSA's 2.0 AV policy guidance includes a voluntary safety self-assessment. Waymo, the first AV developer to publicly release their VSSA, included a section on accessibility, which detailed features benefiting several disability types. Check it out here: http://links.targetedvictory.mkt5241.com/ctt?kn=8&ms=MzEwOTI1NzkS1&r=NTYzNjI3NjQ1NDQ4S0&b=0&j=MTE0MjQ3MzE3OAS2&mt=1&rt=0 It would be great if all other companies developing ...more »
Inherent in discussions about autonomous vehicles (AVs) are the costs associated with them. These costs are often presented in terms of cost of design/manufacture, purchase/lease, maintenance costs, insurance costs, and tax/licensing policy which promotes the development and deployment of AVs. The one aspect of government policy that has been overlooked in this discussion, so far, is the topic of the actual infrastructure ...more »
Autonomous vehicles need to be accessible for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. There is the physical accessibility, but there needs to be cognitive and programmatic accessibility. Furthermore, the Department of Health and Human Services needs to be involved in the dialogue because Medicaid and other support services play a role in autonomous vehicles, especially access to healthcare.