Volkswagen Group of America has launched the Inclusive Mobility initiative, an effort to directly engage with disability groups early in the design of vehicle technologies, user experience, and mobility services.
Much of the public discussion around automated vehicle technologies have focused on safety, comfort, and convenience. But for those who face continued barriers to safe, reliable, independent and affordable transportation, development of this technology has the potential to change lives.
The initiative began last year through outreach and collaboration with disability groups including the National Federation of the Blind, the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF), and the National Association of the Deaf. Initial research efforts have included a series of expert and user interviews on disabilities related to mobility, vision, hearing, and cognition.
VWGoA hosted a working meeting earlier this month to help find design solutions for securing wheelchairs in future autonomous and electric vehicles. The workshop included representatives from wheelchair manufacturers and securement providers, the We Will Ride Coalition of national disability organizations, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, and Volkswagen AG.
In addition to product development, the recent meeting focused on the need to create global safety standards for wheelchair securement in autonomous vehicles.
Source: Press Release