Working Meeting on Wheelchair and Occupant Securement

On April 17-18, our team at Volkswagen Group of America hosted a working meeting in Washington, D.C. to help identify design solutions for wheelchair and occupant securement in future vehicle technologies, including autonomous and electric vehicles.

Government building

May 31, 2019
Contributed by: Inclusive Mobility Team

Attendees included representatives from wheelchair manufacturers and securement providers, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, Volkswagen AG and the We Will Ride Coalition of national disability organizations, which includes the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF), United Spinal Association, the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) and Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA).

Discussions centered around four main topics related to wheelchair and person securement:

  • Technology & Standardization
  • Liability
  • Funding
  • Education

In addition to our focus on product development, we recognize the need to create global safety standards for wheelchair and occupant securement in autonomous vehicles.

Between 2010 and 2014, the U.S. Census estimate for the wheelchair-using population rose 50 percent, to 5.5 million. The Census Bureau projects that by 2030 an additional 21.5 million Americans over age 55 will need alternatives to driving themselves.

We anticipate a growing need for wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs). Through the Inclusive Mobility program, we are bringing together stakeholders to help us identify how we can serve this growing demographic in the future. Autonomous vehicles and technology have the potential to provide safe, reliable, independent and affordable mobility, and we are working hard to design future wheelchair accessible vehicles and mobility services.

Read our recent announcement to learn more.

Photo by Katie Moum

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