It’s a chance to transform personal transportation in a manner that can bring life-changing advantages to those with disabilities
To make this occur, we’ll need the automotive industry to embrace more inclusive design principles which are currently absent, and to overcome the difficulties of creating new ways to interface in autonomous cars. It could be as simple as companies drawing inspiration from different aspects of design to find the right balance between aesthetics and user-friendliness.
“Inclusive Design” is a term used to describe ” inclusive design” is employed to describe how designers consider the requirements and capabilities of a broad variety of people during the process of designing. The auto industry has traditionally concentrated on designing for people who have driving licenses, who, in general, are thought to be the most physically fit segment in the general population.
However, those with disabilities constitute an important portion of the population 22% of the population living in UK (13.9 millions) as of 2016-17. Many of them could be unable to operate the cars of today because of issues like sight loss, major physical disabilities or cognitive impairments.
Being disabled and dependent on public transportation can be a challenge. In addition, having difficulty getting to and from the station is among the challenges that people with disabilities cite in order to prevent them from being able to participate in society such as visiting relatives or friends, or joining a group.
Anyone who has ever had to endure a difficult discussion with a loved one who is older, informing them to stop driving, often due to physical or cognitive decline is aware of what this could be. Therefore, making transportation easier to access is crucial in helping people improve their lives – by enabling them to have better opportunities in the economy and less social isolation, or even restoring dignity.
Although autonomous vehicles will gradually eliminate the requirement for drivers to be physically driving the cars, there are still obstacles for disabled motorists that must be considered. Just being able to get in or out of cars can cause challenges for many people who are physically disabled – in addition to wheelchair-users as well as to many older individuals since muscle strength diminishes with the aging process. This is why thoughtful design elements such as grab handles or side steps incredibly useful.
Autonomous vehicles will offer an opportunity to complete redesign. Coventry University, Author provided
The operation of features that require a lot of effort, like folding tailgates or car seats could be difficult, which is why it’s important that they’re constructed to function at a moderate level of force, using big contact areas and handles. Seat belts can also pose a challenge since they can be difficult to insert and reach. The restraint system needs a new appearance and a new design based on an inclusive design approach to ensure that they are accessible to all the populace.
If you’re disabled, an easy and simple restraint system for wheelchair users is necessary. It’s assumed that there’s a properly-designed ramp, a lower floor, and sufficient space for the user of a wheelchair to enter the vehicle.
Self-driving cars also pose new challenges, including the requirement for interfaces that allow drivers to select destinations or obtain information regarding their travel. To accommodate disabled individuals and their families, they cannot rely on just one kind of feedback or input. Visual displays might not be appropriate for certain users, and voice input might not be suitable for some.
However, despite the abounding discussions and the resources devoted to altering personal transportation by developing autonomous vehicles, there’s no evidence to suggest that inclusive design is a key element in the development process. This is true even from regulators who are changing their code to permit the testing of autonomous vehicles but without taking into account how the design of vehicles could assist people with disabilities.