UK – New modes of transport and pioneering technologies should transform travel for older people and those with disabilities, the government has made clear today (14 May 2019). Transport is vital in order to connect people right across the country, but those with disabilities or mobility issues can sometimes face unacceptable barriers to travel.
Speaking at the final media and showcase event for FLOURISH, a self-driving car project in Bristol aimed at improving the mobility of older people and those with mobility-related needs, the Future of Mobility Minister Jesse Norman has set out that new technologies including self-driving vehicles and the increased use of mobile apps have the potential to revolutionise everyday journeys for people with mobility issues, and this must be a key consideration for those companies developing future transport.
In their ‘Future of mobility: urban strategy, launched in March 2019’, the government declared that transport innovations must be accessible by design in order to empower independent travel, in line with the 2018 Inclusive Transport Strategy which stated that advances in technology should provide opportunities for all. The trend towards ride-sharing, for example, will need to cater for users of wheelchairs and mobility scooters, as well as those who might not feel comfortable sharing with strangers due to mental health or developmental conditions.