autonomous vehicles

Autonomous Vehicles: A Transportation Solution?

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For people with disabilities, one of the major barriers to competitive, integrated employment is the lack of access to transportation. Autonomous vehicles hold significant promise for people with disabilities: providing independent mobility so they can travel to work.

Only one-fifth of people aged 18 to 64 work full or part-time if they have travel-limiting disabilities.

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Although this possibility could open up opportunities for workers with disabilities, autonomous vehicles must be fully accessible if they are to increase social inclusion and job market participation.

Gathering Innovative Ideas

In October 2017, ODEP hosted a national online dialogue to gather innovative ideas for implementing autonomous vehicle programs. The forum also gave participants the opportunity to anticipate, discuss, and find solutions to possible obstacles and barriers.

Key Takeaways Shared

This dialogue is summarized in the report, "Autonomous Vehicles: Driving Employment for People with Disabilities." The report covers key takeaways that will inform decisions about implementation, roll-out, accommodation requirements, and policy development that will ensure autonomous vehicles are a viable, practical mobility option for persons with disabilities.

Just a few of the topics covered include:

  • Current autonomous vehicles technology
  • Regulatory issues at both the federal and state levels
  • Potential policy, societal, and attitudinal barriers to the independent use of autonomous vehicles
  • Accessibility and assistive technologies
  • Possible policy and societal obstacles to the independent use of autonomous vehicles
  • Driver’s licensing, regulations, and model legislation
  • Cost and income disparity barriers

In addition, the report provides model legislation governing the use of autonomous vehicles, so states have a framework on which to build state laws.

Download the Report: Autonomous Vehicles: Driving Employment for People with Disabilities
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