Could Driverless Cars Pick Up Passengers In Wheelchairs? (3-29-19)

The future of transportation is approaching. GETTY

Last week, the Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) filed a lawsuit against Lyft in California for not having any wheelchair-accessible vehicles in the San Francisco Bay Area. By not having the adequately equipped vehicles to accommodate passengers in wheelchairs, Lyft is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

However, this is far from being the only case that transportation has been made inaccessible to people with disabilities, nor is California the only state with this problem.

For example, in New York City, only 112 of MTA’s 472 subway stations are accessible, and out of those, 100 are currently working in both directions. Additionally, less than 1,800 of the city’s 13,000+ yellow cabs are equipped with wheelchair lifts or ramps, which means less than 15% of the taxis are accessible to New Yorkers with mobility difficulties.

However, as we approach a new era of transportation, notably driverless cars, it is crucial to keep the issue of accessibility at the forefront of our minds.

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How to Find Wheelchair-Accessible Ubers (3-25-19)

Photo: Stephanie Keith (Getty Images)

Let’s face it—we take ride-hailing apps like Uber for granted. In less than three minutes’ time, we can hail a ride with a few phone clicks. It’s like magic.

But for those who require wheelchairs, scooters, or other mobility-assistance devices, historically, there’s been an enormous gap with regard to fair and equal access to accessible transportation. In 2018, a number of lawsuits by disabilities rights advocates have alleged that Uber has long discriminated against those in wheelchairs.

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Designing Self-Driving Cars for the Elderly (12-26-18)

The motoring world is set to witness a significant shift in the months and years to come, as autonomous vehicles begin to be used on public roads. Google has already revealed that it is trialing its automated technology in real-world situations, for instance, while both Lexus and Mercedes have confirmed that they are among the big-name vehicle manufacturers to be working on autonomous car technology. Across the Atlantic in the UK, Tesla has been putting its driverless Autopilot system through the paces too. There are also rumors that BMW and Apple are collaborating to create a vehicle which may well be automated.

A lot is going on when it comes to the topic of self-driving vehicles then. However, a lot of people are still skeptical about the technology. In fact, a survey by AAA suggested that around 75 percent of the public are currently fearful about riding in a self-driving car.

Various groups seen in our society could benefit from being able to use autonomous vehicles though, including senior citizens. This is especially apparent when considering the Surface Transportation Policy Project titled ‘Aging Americans: Stranded Without Options.’ This study revealed that 20 percent of Americans over 65 do not drive at all. Bearing all of this in mind, stairlift manufacturer Acorn Stairlifts has investigated exactly how self-driving cars have the capability to assist elderly people.

Read Full Story Here (via ECN)