Mobility, Disability, and Inclusion: The Potential and Perils of Autonomous Vehicles

Authors: William D Anderson*, Michigan State University, William D Anderson, Michigan State University, Mark Wilson, Michigan State University
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Disabilities, Transportation Geography
Keywords: Automated Vehicles, Disability, Mobility, Inclusion
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 49
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Autonomous Vehicles also commonly referred to as Automated Vehicles (AV) are conservatively identified as self-driving vehicles. Comprehensively, Autonomous Vehicles are technically advanced vehicles equipped with Automated Driving Systems (ADSs) which sustains capabilities to execute functions that commonly requires Artificial intelligence (AI). Currently, there is an increasing attention being placed on autonomous vehicle design features for individuals with disabilities and these design features are partially informed by the specific needs for transportation, mobilization, and social inclusion faced by this population. Autonomous vehicles can offer innovative mobility options to individuals with all types of disabilities, presenting many opportunities while advocating inclusion, safety, economic opportunities, and social well-being. In order to understand the potential of autonomous vehicles it is first essential to understand the limitations and accommodations of the different types of disabilities and expectations from autonomous vehicle designs. Mobility for those with disability accommodations needs to consider sociopolitical, legislative, and environmental factors related to public transport and transportation based upon existing evidence related to autonomous vehicle design. However, many gaps in the literature remain. There has been a lack of attention to design-specific features for all types of disabilities. Additionally, much of autonomous vehicle design literature remains in the proposal phase. Concluding a need for further experimentation, controlled research, and environmental and sociopolitical engineering in order to make autonomous vehicles a realistic possibility for individuals with disabilities.

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