An increasing number of local and regional government and transportation agencies are establishing offices of innovation and embracing initiatives that test and offer cutting edge technologies to improve the wellbeing of the people they serve. Autonomous vehicle technology that serves people with disabilities can be implemented iteratively, improving at each stage. This is not a traditional approach for the public sector, ...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 »
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 »
Many individuals with disabilities are unable to obtain a valid driver’s license. Some will never be able to obtain a license under the current regulatory structure, while others, such as those with epilepsy, may experience temporary restrictions on driving until an improvement is seen in that condition. In either case, requiring autonomous vehicle passengers to hold a valid driver’s license is a needless restriction ...more »
Autonomous vehicles (AVs) developed with the proper policies will help make independence and economic self-sufficiency possible for people who are blind or have other disabilities. To ensure that people with disabilities can access and benefit from AVs and ensure state and federal policies do not preclude people with disabilities from accessing AVs, ODEP and SAFE should adopt the National Council on Disability’s (NCD) ...more »
The average cost of car ownership in the US today is $750/month - including gas, insurance, maintenance, depreciation, etc. I think that is a reasonable threshold cost for at will utilization of a shared AV for anyone - including a person with disabilities that might require a specialized vehicle or with specific accommodations. A "regular" shared AV might be used 80% of the time and have minimal downtime between users ...more »
Travelers with disabilities may be willing to share certain personal information to receive customized services based on their disability. For example, mobility impaired persons may benefit from a service tailoring the pickup locations or vehicle types, or vision impaired persons may benefit from assistance locating the vehicle. Sharing personal information can enable benefits, but also has potential privacy and safety ...more »
The government should issue Request for Proposals that would encourage developers to design, manufacture, and promote the use of autonomous vehicles. Additionally, the cost of leasing (purchasing??) such vehicles should be an allowable cost in any employment and training program targeting individuals with disabilities who are seeking job training and/or employment.
There is a lack of research and no clear vision for self-driving vehicles in rural areas. The transportation needs of tribal nations must be considered.
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 »
State and local governments can demonstrate their commitment to employment access for their employees with disabilities by owning and operating accessible AVs .
Create a national performance standard and design regulations and leave oversight of insurance, licensing, and other issues to the states.