WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has published a Request for Information (RFI) for the Inclusive Design Challenge, announced by Secretary Elaine L. Chao at the Access and Mobility for All Summit on October 29, 2019.
“The Department will award $5 million to aid the development of innovative new solutions that increase the availability and accessibility and reduce the cost of technologies of light-duty passenger vehicles,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
The Inclusive Design Challenge will solicit solutions addressing obstacles faced by persons with physical, sensory, and/or cognitive disabilities. The goal of the Inclusive Design Challenge is to inspire inclusive designs for automated vehicles (AVs) as they are developed, as well as to increase access to the conventional vehicles of today.
USDOT recognizes the potential mobility benefits that AVs could bring to persons with disabilities. The wide diversity of disabilities and resulting needs for inclusive vehicle designs increase the complexity of the engineering challenge. Designers will aim to address this issue, and compete for an overall prize purse of up to $5,000,000 through this dual-stage Inclusive Design Challenge.
Through the RFI, USDOT is soliciting feedback from academia, research laboratories, industry, government agencies, and other stakeholders on the scope and evaluation criteria for the Inclusive Design Challenge. The RFI is designed to obtain information that will further frame the Inclusive Design Challenge topic, design, and evaluation criteria, and will be open for 30 days.
The RFI was posted on the USDOT website on December 31, 2019, available here, and will be published in the Federal Register. USDOT seeks feedback on the RFI components through email. Information on the Challenge can be found at www.transportation.gov/accessibility/inclusivedesign. Additional information on the USDOT’s work on accessibility can be found at www.transportation.gov/accessibility.