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January 6, 2021

Carnegie Mellon University has been named one of the ten US Department of Transportation Inclusive Design Challenge $300,000 semi-finalist award winners.

The Inclusive Design Challenge focuses on innovative design solutions to enable people with physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities to use automated vehicles to access jobs, healthcare, and other critical destinations. This theme was well aligned with the Traffic21/Mobility21 theme of “Innovating Mobility for All”.

The CMU winning project, Promoting personal control of AVs through inclusive smartphone communication interfaces, will be led by Nikolas Martelaro, Patrick Carrington, Sarah Fox, Jodi Forlizzi, and Lisa Kay Schweyer with students Aziz Ghadiali, Daisy Gollis, Franklin Mingzhe Li, Wei Tung Lin, Xuanyuan (Ember) Liu, Estelle (Yicheng) Jiang, and Yunzhou (Kathy) Song (all from Carnegie Mellon University) and Pramod Mallapragada and Tapan Mukerji (from Propel).

The project will be focused on using the accessible features of smartphones to facilitate inclusive communication between the car and rider, allowing people with differing abilities to control different aspects of the vehicle and adjust their ride experience. Utilizing the Mobility21 UTC Deployment Partner Consortium, Program Manager, Lisa Kay Schweyer helped recruit community and organizational members which became part of an overall community engagement group.

Since August 2020, the project team has facilitated an ongoing series of virtual meetings bringing together the community engagement group which includes people with disabilities, disability rights advocates, transportation officials, Tier 1 suppliers, and automotive user experience designers.

The project will kick-off this Spring, the community engagement group will continue to meet throughout the project, and progress updates will be posted to the project’s website.

For more information, please contact the project team, idc-team@andrew.cmu.edu.