Of all the potential benefits of automated vehicles, the opportunity to bring personal mobility and autonomy to the lives of people with disabilities is one of the most under-appreciated.
Creating accessible transportation will require incredible innovation, and programs like the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Inclusive Design Challenge are critical to building momentum toward this goal. With $5 million in prizes, the Inclusive Design Challenge pits researchers and innovators in a competition to design and develop systems and features for autonomous vehicles that solve the most pressing access barriers for people with physical, sensory and cognitive disabilities.
Last fall, PAVE had the opportunity to partner with the U.S. Department of Transportation on a virtual seminar “AVs for All: Inspiring Solutions for Accessible Design” to highlight their Inclusive Design Challenge. We had the opportunity to bring together leading experts in the field of universal design and share numerous resources with potential applicants and the public.
We were so inspired by the project that we decided to follow up with each of the 10 Semifinalist teams and produce a PAVE video interview series highlighting all 10 of their winning proposals. We invite you to view this video series now and learn more about the innovative design solutions these teams are working on to enable people with physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities to use automated vehicles to access jobs, healthcare, and other critical destinations.