HCII LogoCarnegie Mellon’s Mobility21 University Transportation Center and the Human-Computer Interaction Institute are looking to collaborate with members and advocates of the disability community and representatives of paratransit organizations to form a joint team and advisory group to submit a proposal for the US Department of Transportation’s Inclusive Design Challenge.

The stated goal of the challenge is:  “… to seek solutions to improve passenger vehicle accessibility, encourage cross-disciplinary collaborations, incentivize the development of new designs and technologies, and tap into the creativity and knowledge of the disability community, researchers, advocates, and entrepreneurs.”

Our goal is to form a diverse team of stakeholders interested in proposing and developing ways to improve the accessibility of autonomous vehicles. We plan to host a series of collaborative, online workshops with community members to develop a proposal to submit to the challenge on October 30th, 2020.

These workshops will focus on developing solutions for people with physical, sensory, and/or cognitive disabilities to use autonomous vehicles independently. The Inclusive Design Challenge lists the following areas of interest:

  • Locating an Automated Driving System-dedicated vehicle (ADS-DV)
  • Entering an ADS-DV
  • Securing passengers and mobility equipment
  • Inputting information
  • Interacting with the ADS in routine and emergency situations
  • Exiting an ADS-DV

We are looking for broad community participation and welcome hearing from:

  • Community members and advocates of the disability community who want to share their experiences and guide the team’s development
  • Representatives of municipalities, mobility, and paratransit service providers in the greater Pittsburgh area and neighboring rural communities (roughly 100 miles)
  • People interested in designing and building new solutions for making autonomous cars more accessible

We have three ways you can get involved with increasing levels of commitment.

  1. Tell us about your experiences and share your ideas: Share your experiences with current forms of transport, your hopes and concerns for autonomous vehicles, and any ideas you might have over a phone call, video conferencing, or email.
  2. Join our advisory committee: Participate in quarterly advisory meetings, help define the project strategy, and stay up-to-date with project progress.
  3. Join the proposal team: Help directly shape our proposed solution, plan and participate in community meetings, and write a research proposal.

Please reach out to us at idc-team@andrew.cmu.edu if you would like to be involved or fill out our intro survey here.

We plan to have our first community meeting in early August.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Patrick Carrington – HCII, Carnegie Mellon University
Sarah Fox – HCII, Carnegie Mellon University
Nikolas Martelaro – HCII, Carnegie Mellon University
Jodi Forlizzi – HCII, Carnegie Mellon University
Pramod Mallapragada – Propel
Tapan Mukerji – Propel
Lisa Kay Schweyer – Mobility21 UTC, Carnegie Mellon University
Stan Caldwell – Mobility21 UTC, Carnegie Mellon University