Autonomous Vehicles (AVs), as one such technology, is shaping up to be the ultimate game-changer for people with disabilities.
Disruptive technologies have the potential to radically transform the economics and quality of service delivery. Autonomous Vehicles (AVs), as one such technology, is shaping up to be the ultimate game-changer for people with disabilities.
In a previous article, "Will autonomous vehicles be a game-changer for people with disabilities in Canada?" I explored the advent of AVs and the impact they might have on persons with a disability. Ensuring the widespread availability of shared AVs designed to give greater access to people with disabilities, however, is far from being a foregone conclusion. How can governments get ahead of the AV curve and effectively understand the impact AVs could have?
Let's think about what could go wrong, or the barriers, before an event occurs, such as the development of AV technology and infrastructure.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that the cost of a new vehicle with adaptive equipment for people with disabilities can cost anywhere between USD $20,000 and $80,000 (CAD $26,000 and $108,000).
While the cost of an autonomous vehicle with adaptive equipment may be lower given they only require modifications for passengers, the cost is still not insignificant. Consider a scenario where the norm is shared with for-profit autonomous vehicles providing a ride-share service and the economics become even more acute: additional investment in adaptive equipment is unlikely to yield a positive return on investment.
This is where the government has a role to play.
Download the full article to learn more about how Autonomous Vehicles (AV) and mobility services can get ahead of the curve.