While self-driving cars have been hailed as a ‘revolution’ for those living with a disability, unfortunately, we are still several years away from driverless cars becoming a reality. That being said, innovation has led to a huge range of vehicle adaptations being developed, with more modifications available than ever before.
Here are the most modern adaptations that are being utilised on vehicle conversions.
Although a traditional accelerator is controlled using the right foot, there are many alternative methods that make using a car more accessible. As well as a left foot accelerator, this includes a range of hand controls that can be fitted to the steering wheel and operated in push, pull, twist and side-to-side movements. Additionally, there are also devices that can be worn on the hand and controlled wirelessly.
Similar to accelerators, there are a number of hand operated braking systems such as steering wheel mounted controls. Easy and quick release handbrakes have also been designed for those with limited mobility, while there are innovative gear knob style designs that can be pushed back and forth.
State of the Art Seating
For many disabled people, entering or exiting a vehicle can be one of the biggest issues. However, a number of seating solutions have been developed that aim to provide better access. Whether as a driver or passenger, there are seats that work on a motorised pivot and swivel system to manoeuvre within the cabin. There are also mechanisms that allow seats to exit the vehicle, to help with getting in and out.
Touch screen Gears
Typically used for infotainment systems, touch screen systems are becoming more common. For disability cars, this tech has been altered for gear changes. Although button systems have been around for some time, new touch screen tech has been developed to allow gear changes with a single touch. Some of these also offer additional controls and can be used to turn on windscreen wipers or activate indicators.
Ramps, Hoists and Lifts
Lastly, a huge range of vehicles can be altered to include a ramp or lifting system, whether to stow a mobility scooter in the back or to allow wheelchair access. Electric ramps and lifts can be installed at the rear and side, making them ideal for larger vehicles. While hoists can be used for the boot or to assist with access.
With new technology being developed all the time, companies like Allied are able to offer more accessibility options and adaptations than ever before.