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.
Today, everybody is in a hurry and doesn’t have time to pay heed to even their personal priorities. In these times, owning a car definitely is an arduous task. As per International Energy Associationreport, it is projected there will be around 1.7 billion cars on the road by 2035, the rest you can imagine.
So in order to get rid of all these hassles, you can simply shift on to carpooling or ride sharing apps, which will even cater to you with different options like sedans and SUVs.
In simple words, the ride sharing service can be defined as an arrangement between a vehicle owner and an individual who provides a pickup location with their desired destination through an app or website, for a fee.
A coming milestone in the automobile world is the widespread rollout of Level 4 autonomy, where the car drives itself without supervision. Waymo, the company spun out of Google’s self-driving car research, said it would start a commercial Level 4 taxi service by late 2018, although that hadn’t happened as of press time. And GM Cruise, in San Francisco, is committed to do the same in 2019, using a Chevrolet Bolt that has neither a steering wheel nor pedals.
These cars wouldn’t work in all conditions and regions—that’s why they’re on rung 4 and not rung 5 of the autonomy ladder. But within some limited operational domain, they’ll have the look and feel of a fully robotized car. The question is how constrained that domain will be.
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.
Chandler, Ariz.— On the chilly October day the New York City subway opened in 1904, the marvel of engineering and grit was greeted with horns, steam sirens and stations overrun by thousands of revelers. “Fast Trains in Tubes,” blared one headline.
On Wednesday, 114 years later in sun-swept Arizona, the launch of the 21st-century equivalent came in a blog post and an email invitation.
Google offshoot Waymo announced it is launching the nation’s first commercial self-driving taxi service in this and other Phoenix suburbs. The 24/7 service, dubbed Waymo One, will let customers summon self-driving minivans by a smartphone app, a la Uber or Lyft.