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Tuesday, February 6, 2024

BIll on Disabilities and Autonomous Vehicles

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss interactions between police and autistic people.  Sometimes they occur on the road.

 A release from Rep. Brian Mast  (R-FL):

Representatives Brian Mast (FL-21) and Greg Stanton (AZ-4), members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, introduced the bipartisan Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Accessibility Act to help people with disabilities better access the mobility and independence benefits of ride-hail AVs.

“The AV Accessibility Act will jumpstart conversations and comprehensive work to ensure that those with disabilities are able to utilize ride hailing autonomous technology,” Rep. Mast said. “The government should be working to reduce barriers to opportunity rather than creating them, this commonsense legislation does just that. I look forward to working with Rep. Stanton to move this legislation ensuring those with disabilities have the same opportunities as anyone else.”

People with disabilities often face unique challenges accessing existing modes of transportation, and AVs hold tremendous potential to address unmet mobility needs. However, AVs don’t fit neatly into the traditional legal constructs of driver and passenger and require policymakers to start thinking differently.

The AV Accessibility Act will ensure passengers are legally protected if an AV is pulled over or other issues occur, even if they do not hold a driver license due to their disability. It also requires the U.S. Department of Transportation, in collaboration with the National Academies of Science, to study best practices for public transportation infrastructure to be modified to improve the ability of Americans with disabilities to find, access, and use ride-hail autonomous vehicles, including during pickup and drop off.


The bill has been endorsed by AV companies and national disability advocacy groups.

You can read the full bill here.