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Autonomous Vehicles

Inclusive Design of Autonomous Vehicles: A Public Dialogue

Autonomous Bus

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 dramatically 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 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 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 platform with open chat and discussion features. The forum’s four sessions will be in intervals of two weeks. Each 1.5-hour webinar discussion will be recorded and supplemented by an online crowdsourcing discussion platform (ePolicyWorks) that will be active for two weeks after each session.

Each session will focus on a different type of accessibility (e.g., mobility, communication, cognitive). A final session will review findings and recommendations, identify areas for further study, and recommended next steps.

Program Schedule

Accessibility for Passengers with Mobility Disabilities: Entering and Exiting Vehicles
March 10, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30 (ET)

Accessibility for Passengers with Mobility Disabilities: Maneuvering and Securement in Vehicles
March 24, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30 (ET)

Communication Accessibility for Passengers with Sensory or Cognitive Disabilities
April 7, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30 (ET)

Findings, Recommendations, Future Research, and Suggested Next Steps
April 21, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30 (ET)

Note: Meeting links and other details will be posted at a later date.

Session Format

Each session 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.

More Information

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 III at duchesneau@access-board.gov or (202) 272-0044.