Volkswagen Launches Inclusive Mobility Initiative
We here at Larry Roesch Volkswagen were excited to hear that Volkswagen Group of America (VWGoA) has plans to take automotive technology to a whole new level with an industry-first initiative to design vehicles that make mobility more accessible for people with disabilities. This is welcome news for a segment of the U.S. population where one in five people are known to suffer from impairment. The Inclusive Mobility initiative will see the automotive manufacturer collaborate with disability groups especially in regard to the design of automotive technologies and development of mobility services as well as on user experience.
The Need for Mobile Accessible Vehicles Development
Accessible transportation is a critical element that goes a long way to improving the lives of people with disabilities. Suitably adapted vehicles and transportation services enable people with disabilities to enjoy full participation in society when they often feel excluded and isolated. With options open to people with disabilities very limited, the intention of the Inclusive Mobility Initiative is to improve their quality of life.
The initiative will go one step further into automated vehicle technologies development. Whereas current technologies are focused on advancing the cause of safety, comfort and convenience of vehicles, people with disabilities face additional challenges such as barriers to suitably adapted transport that is safe, reliable, and affordable and that grants them independence.
Engagement is Key to Research
In wanting to design suitable autonomous vehicles, VWGoA has engaged with various disability organizations to gain their insight and expertise in the design of functional vehicles (design, technical, safety and equity requirements) and user experience in impairment related to vision, mobility and hearing. This is a key part of research to ensure VWGoA can manufacture vehicles that will meet the challenges of the disabled community.
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