International Wheelchair Day was started ten years ago by Steve Wilkinson. This year March 1st, 2018 will be the 10th anniversary people around the world celebrating their lives in a wheelchair. In honor of the positive impacts the wheelchair has had on millions of people, we’ve taken a look back through its history.
For over 85 years, Toyota has been an innovator in the automobile industry. Today, they are setting their sights on what they describe as a greater mission: helping to give all of humankind the ability to move. “Mobility for All” is a new website that shows concepts and designs for the future that can help improve mobility and quality of life for people around the world. Here are a few of the concept ideas from Toyota:
What started out as a team-building exercise to the Cleveland International film festival quickly became a possible look into the future of our industry, a reaffirmation of how life can change in an instant, and a renewed appreciation for how passion with a positive optimistic outlook can drive people to do the unimaginable.
The film “Re-engineering Sam” chronicles the journey of quadriplegic Sam Schmidt, an Indy race car driver who despite a crash in 2000 that rendered him a quadriplegic, never lost his hope or passion to drive. Throughout the movie you are drawn to Sam, his family, and their very honest portrayal of everyday vulnerabilities. Sam’s incredible drive to race and be a part of the racing industry has had an impact on everyone close to him. It would, inevitably, be the impact that Sam had on a fan, that would make his dreams of driving a car again come true.
During the film we are given an inside look at the doctors and scientists, who are just as driven and dedicated as Sam, to advancing adaptive technologies. Their ground-breaking technology that utilizes head movements and brain waves is paving the way for advances in the way people with spinal cord injuries operate and communicate. For Sam, the technology has allowed him to drive again.
May of 2016, Sam attained 152 mph in his adapted car at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Sam’s car uses four cameras to monitor his head and transmit his movements to the tires. He also uses voice commands to switch gears, head motions to steer and breath manipulation to accelerate and brake. In September, he was awarded the first restricted license in the nation to drive a semi-autonomous car by Nevada Lt. Governor Mark Hutchison. Driverless technology may be on the horizon, but for passionate drivers like Sam there’s nothing better than being behind the wheel.
Wherever there’s a large crowd, a mobility scooter can often be seen providing assistance to those in need of a little help with their mobility. Go to just about any shopping mall, amusement park, or high school sporting event and a Pride Mobility Scooter can almost always be found in the crowd. Fortunately, there are a lot of different options available to match the physical size, travel lifestyle, and budget for everyone needing to use one of these great mobility devices.
Many of our MobilityWorks showroom locations* carry the top selling Pride Mobility Scooters for sale. Below are the three most popular scooter models that can be purchased or ordered for our clients.
Through the use of cameras, sensors and computers, on-road test vehicles are successfully driving themselves!
What just a few years ago seemed like science fiction is quickly becoming a reality. Technology giants such as Google and Apple are teaming up with major automobile manufacturers in developing and road-testing self-driving cars and smaller SUVs. Google’s concept cars are already on the road this very minute! So how long will it be until you can purchase an accessible vehicle that drives itself?
All of the models on the road are currently in beta-testing, but Google has claimed that they hope these vehicles will be for sale to the general public by 2020. There were huge strides earlier this month when the federal government announced guidelines and procedures for safety and operation. One of the big challenges that remains is how this will affect insurance companies, especially if there are accidents. The scenario has already taken place when a Google Lexus AV (autonomous vehicle) drove into the side of a bus at low speed in Mountain View, CA.
Realistically, it will be several years before you will be able to purchase a self-driving minivan or larger SUV. Most of the models being tested are smaller vehicles like the Tesla Model S or Ford Fusion. However, earlier this summer Business Insider posted a picture of a self driving Ford Transit on the Golden Gate Bridge.
New Driver-Assist Technologies Available Today
It’s safe to assume that it will be another 10 years or more before self-driving accessible vehicles will be available. It’s anyone’s guess as to how soon it will become a reality. In the meantime, there is some exciting new technology available today for drivers to enjoy! The 2017 Wheelchair Accessible Chrysler Pacifica will be available at MobilityWorks by early next year and it has some optional features that are a step closer to self-driving. One of them is LaneSense, which provides a gentle corrective action if you move out of your lane without the turn signal being activated. Forward collision warning utilizes cameras and sensors, and will even break for you if an accident is imminent. The 360 Surround View Camera makes parking and maneuvering tight spaces a breeze! While these technology features don’t equal the excitement surrounding the use of self-driving cars, they are a step in the right direction toward making vehicles safer and more technologically advanced.