How accessible are automated vehicles?

A report has identified benefits and potential issues for people with disability using connected and automated vehicles (CAVs).

We’ve partnered with La Trobe University and the iMOVE CRC to investigate the way CAVs will be regulated in the Australian market and how accessible they are to people with disability.

Connected vehicles use wireless technology to communicate with other vehicles, the road, other infrastructure and even personal devices.

Automated vehicles use technologies including robotics, sensors, and advanced software to automate one or more elements of driving, such as steering, accelerating or braking. These are already on Australian roads in various forms, and becoming more common.

They create opportunities for safer travel, lower costs, more transport choices and less congestion on our roads.

The report, Australia’s Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport and Connected and Automated Vehicles, investigated how accessible these are for people with disability and recommends a framework to ensure accessibility from start to finish of a journey.

It identifies 4 areas where guidelines or standards would remove barriers and create opportunities:

  • Vehicle design – seating availability, wheelchairs, handles and support, controls, colours, seating design and signage.
  • Monitoring and direct assistance – identification of passengers, safety monitoring, platform assistance, emergency phones and customer service.
  • Human to machine interface – touch screens, announcements, identification of the correct vehicle and boarding locations.
  • Operations – easy entry and exit, customisation, safe departure and arrival, safe vehicle movements and easy transfer.

The report makes a number of recommendations which aim to ensure CAVs are able to function fully automatically for everyone.

For more information visit our Transport Accessibility page.