Pitt receives federal grant to study how autonomous vehicle industry serves people with disabilities

The University of Pittsburgh will spearhead a national study about the accessibility of autonomous transportation for people with disabilities after receiving a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The grant and 18-month study were announced Thursday by Diana Furchtgott-Roth, the transportation department’s deputy assistant secretary for research and technology, during a virtual celebration for the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Pitt will lead a consortium that includes the Uniformed University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., the Merlin Mobility Corporation in Atlanta and the Toyota Mobility Foundation. The group will serve as the foundation for Pitt’s University Transportation Center for Accessible Autonomous Vehicles and Transportation…

While government agencies and vehicle manufacturers alike have invested in autonomous vehicle technology, Dr. Dicianno said there are no clear guidelines for meeting the accessibility needs of those with disabilities.