Inclusive Design of Autonomous Vehicles: A Public Dialogue
Self-driving or “autonomous” vehicles stand to revolutionize road transportation in the U.S. and around the world. Their cutting-edge technologies and engineering innovations have the potential to significantly expand transit options for many people, including those with disabilities. It is important that autonomous vehicles (AVs) are designed to be inclusive of everyone.
This spring, the U.S. Access Board will host a four-part series of virtual meetings on making AVs accessible to passengers with disabilities. The Board will provide an open forum where members of the public and stakeholders can discuss considerations, challenges, and solutions in designing accessible AVs. The sessions will cover accessibility for passengers with mobility, sensory, or cognitive disabilities. The sessions are free and open to the public. Attendees will be able to pose questions and share comments, suggestions, and information.
The Board is undertaking this initiative jointly with other agencies, including the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the Department of Health and Human Service’s Administration for Community Living.
Series Platform and Format
The forum will be conducted through the Zoom webinar. The forum’s four sessions will be in intervals of two weeks. Each 90-minute webinar discussion will be recorded and supplemented by an online crowdsourcing dialogue platform that will be active for two weeks after each session. The sessions will begin with presentations by agency representatives and invited speakers who will review relevant sources and research and outline issues and questions for discussion. These presentations will be followed by an open dialogue with attendees through the webinar platform.
Webinar Schedule and Registration
Accessibility for Passengers with Mobility Disabilities: Part 1
This session covered methods and technologies for entering and exiting autonomous vehicles.
March 10, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30 (ET)
Recording of Session 1
Presentation Materials from Session 1: PPT, 23MB or PDF, 4MB
Session I Presenters
- Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation
- Robin Hutcheson, DOT Deputy Assistant Secretary for Safety Policy
- Gregory S. Fehribach, Chair of the U.S. Access Board
- Randall Duchesneau, U.S. Access Board
- Dr. Victor Paquet, University at Buffalo
- Amy Schoppman, National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association
- Kevin Frayne, BraunAbility
Accessibility for Passengers with Mobility Disabilities: Part 2
This session will address maneuvering and securement in vehicles and continued discussion of entering and exiting autonomous vehicles.
March 24, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30 (ET)
Recording of Session 2
Presentation Materials from Session 2: PPT, 18MB or PDF, 6MB
Session II Presenters
- Jennifer Sheehy, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Office of Disability Employment Policy
- Scott Windley, U.S. Access Board
- Bryan Brilhart, Robotic Research
- Dr. Kathleen D. Klinich and Miriam A. Manary, University of Michigan
- Dr. Jordana Maisel, University at Buffalo
Accessibility for Passengers with Sensory and Cognitive Disabilities: Part 1
This session will address ride hailing and on-board communication for passengers with hearing, visual, or cognitive disabilities.
April 7, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30 (ET)
Recording of Session 3
Presentation Materials for Session 3: PPT, 46MB or PDF, 6MB
Session III Presenters
- Dr. Cecilia Feeley and Andrea Lubin, Rutgers University
- Dr. Robin Brewer, University of Michigan
- Anil Lewis, National Federation of the Blind
- Dr. Christian Vogler, Gallaudet University; Director, Technology Access Program Research Group
Accessibility for Passengers with Sensory and Cognitive Disabilities: Part 2
This session will continue discussion of communication accessibility in hailing and interacting with autonomous vehicles for passengers with hearing, visual, or cognitive disabilities.
April 21, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30 (ET)
Register for the April 21 Session
Presentation Materials for Session 4: PPT, 5MB or PDF, 3MB
Session IV Presenters
- Karen Tamley, Public Member of the U.S. Access Board
- Dr. Aaron Steinfeld, Carnegie Mellon University
- Dr. Gregg Vanderheiden, University of Maryland
- Darryl Cooper, Disability Rights Office, Federal Communications Commission
- Ted Guild, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
- Bruce Bailey, U.S. Access Board
Online Dialogue Platform
Members of the public are also welcome to share their ideas, comments, and information on AV accessibility through an online crowdsourcing dialogue platform that will offer another opportunity for input throughout the webinar series. Discussion of accessibility for passengers with mobility disabilities is active now. Dialogues on accessibility for passengers with sensory or cognitive disabilities and next steps will open March 25.
Further details will be posted on this page in coming weeks. You can sign up to receive details and other updates on the sessions by email.
Direct questions to Randall Duchesneau at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (202)272-0044.
- Updated Guidelines for Buses and Vans (2016)
- ADA accessibility standards for transportation vehicles (1991, 1998)
- DOT AV reference hub
- DOT Inclusive Design challenge
- Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE) Resource List on Inclusive AV Design
- University at Buffalo IDEA Center
More resources to be added. If you would like to be added as a resource, please email email@example.com.