Rarely a week goes past without some kind of news about self-driving cars, which looks to be the future of travel in the near future. This will completely transform the landscape and make transportation much easier and more efficient for many. In particular, those with a disability could benefit greatly and make it easier than ever for them to be mobile.
Currently, mobility is an issue for many people with a disability. Whilst it is true that there are adaptations that can be made that enable those with a disability to drive, this is still not a possibility for many. Additionally, the excellent Mobility Scheme can help disabled people to become mobile by allowing them to use their mobility benefit to lease a powered scooter or wheelchair accessible automobile from places like Allied Mobility, but there are still those that do not qualify for this or are unable to drive themselves/do not have somebody that can drive for them.
Some people with disabilities, like epilepsy, are unable to obtain a driving license and this can make mobility a huge problem. This means that a lot of people have to rely on public transportation (which can be expensive and unreliable), community transport or somebody else to help them to get out and shop, socialise, run errands etc.
The arrival of self-driving automobiles could change all of this for people with a wide range of disabilities. It would mean that instead of having to operate the automobile themselves or rely on somebody else to drive them, they could use a vehicle to get anywhere that they needed to with ease. They could travel by themselves to go shopping, visit friends and family, pick up the kids and all kinds of other tasks. Crucially, it could transform their lives by helping them to find employment as this can be difficult when transportation is such a problem.
The vehicle could take them door to door safely, efficiently and comfortably and at a time to suit them. Essentially, self-driving automobiles could provide fantastic independence and freedom to people with a disability and allow them to go about their daily life with ease.
Self-driving cars may not quite be here yet, but it will not be too long until they transform the auto industry. This will have a huge impact on everybody, but particularly those with a disability. It could provide unparalleled independence, which could transform their lives and make mobility simple, safe and straightforward.