Recent studies have shown that nearly one billion people worldwide live with at least one disability. This conclusion has caused some of the world’s leading engineers and technologists to create new ways to better accommodate drivers with disabilities who live and work in smart cities.
Below are some ways in which developers and cities can grow to become more accessible to those living with disabilities:
Empowerment Through Technology
It’s no secret technology has had a major impact on people with disabilities, especially in place where they live and work. So, as cities continue to evolve, so do newer technologies. For example, coalitions like the “Defining Accessible Smart Cities Initiative” seeks to bridge the gap between developers and the cities they serve. The goal is to create dialogues between groups that wouldn’t normally take mobility needs into detailed consideration.
The implementation of these initiatives could mean everything from smarter parking garages that can change on a dime to adapt to influxes in driver density to creating roadway designs that can accommodate larger vehicles, like wheelchair accessible cars, vans and trucks.
Mobility Vehicles and Shared Policies
As the knowledge base for how to create fully functioning smart cities expands, there will come a time when mobility vehicle dealers and urban planners will have to work closer than ever.
Making sure that drivers have the access they need and deserve is a fast-growing necessity for cities across the country.
Anticipating What’s to Come
These innovations are just one step in the right direction towards a more integrated, inclusive infrastructure for all city dwellers. There’s still much work to be done, but with the development of new initiatives, we could see a new generation of smart cities that include the needs of mobility vehicle drivers.
The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) is an advocate for mobility and accessibility for caregivers and drivers with disabilities. If you need help with converting or buying a handicap accessible car, truck or van, please consider one of our Quality Assurance Program mobility equipment dealers.