Launching the Waymo Accessibility Community

Since our founding, Waymo has partnered with and listened to advocates for individuals with disabilities

Since our founding, Waymo has partnered with and listened to advocates for individuals with disabilities. As we regularly enhance our know-how, we’ll attempt to place particular person passengers – with their numerous wants and experiences – on the heart of our product to co-create the Waymo One ride-hailing service collectively.

At the moment, we’re launching the Waymo Accessibility Network to formalize and scale our longstanding collaboration with incapacity advocates. It will develop inclusion of their essential voices and precious views as we work collectively to form the way forward for transportation.
The Waymo Accessibility Community brings collectively incapacity advocates who share within the mission of enhancing entry, mobility and security in our communities. Via the community, Waymo will associate instantly with organizations that assist individuals of all ages with bodily, visible, cognitive and sensory disabilities. Members embody each nationwide advocates and community-based nonprofits serving the cities the place Waymo One operates.

“Establishing the Waymo Accessibility Community is our newest step in guaranteeing our transformational rollout of autonomous know-how is inclusive and equitable,” mentioned Chris Ludwick, Waymo Product Administration Director. “Constant, two-way communication with the incapacity neighborhood will assist Waymo analysis, design and deploy accessible options for all of our riders.”

We’re excited to announce that the 13 inaugural members of the Waymo Accessibility Community embody the nationwide nonprofits American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), National Federation of the BlindUnited Spinal AssociationNational Multiple Sclerosis SocietyEpilepsy Foundation of AmericaBlinded Veterans AssociationUnited Cerebral Palsy and the American Council of the Blind; San Francisco-based LightHouse for the Blind and Visually ImpairedIndependent Living Resource Center of San Francisco and Self-Help for the Elderly; and Arizona-based Foundation for Blind Children and Foundation for Senior Living.

“Involving the incapacity neighborhood from the bottom flooring in technological developments is the important thing to being a real champion of inclusion for right this moment’s main innovators,” mentioned Vincenzo Piscopo, President & CEO, United Spinal Affiliation. “The arrival of absolutely autonomous automobiles is particularly eagerly awaited by the incapacity neighborhood—and we’ve got been striving to make our voices heard within the growth of this landmark know-how. The Waymo Accessibility Community will elevate the dialogue that Waymo has constantly maintained with our neighborhood, and units an instance for his or her friends within the AV area to observe.”

The Waymo Accessibility Community will work instantly with member organizations to conduct person analysis, product testing and extra. This invaluable suggestions will assist us construct upon Waymo’s present accessible design features, like audio cues, display readers, rider assist chats, academic suggestions and extra.

“Forming this community deepens our established relationships with these key accessibility stakeholders,” mentioned Heather Aijian, Waymo Public Affairs Supervisor. “Solely by persevering with to hearken to and be taught from the foremost incapacity advocates can we transfer ahead collectively to make mobility extra accessible.”

“We now have offered our experience and lived expertise to our companions towards the design and growth of accessible autonomous car know-how for greater than ten years,” mentioned Mark Riccobono, President of the Nationwide Federation of the Blind. “Extending our partnership by way of changing into a member of the Waymo Accessibility Community holds the promise of a very accessible driverless expertise resulting in freedom-enhancing transportation choices that improve employment alternatives and enhance the standard of life for blind individuals and other people with different disabilities.”

This 12 months, Waymo was honored to be acknowledged as a nationwide semifinalist within the US Department of Transportation’s Inclusive Design Challenge, a proper invitational meant to additional inventive product considering round inclusive mobility. As a part of the problem, Waymo partnered with many teams affected by lack of mobility choices, together with a few of our lengthy standing partners in our Let’s Talk Autonomous Driving public training initiative. Our companions offered suggestions and insights that formed our submission, and we’re pleased with the features that we designed and built-in into our Waymo One service because of the problem.

At Waymo, we’ve got all the time believed that an inclusive design course of makes the top product higher for everybody, and we all know we’re constructing a journey, not only a know-how. To refine the main points of touchpoints alongside the journey, collaboration with individuals with disabilities has been and can proceed to be indispensable.

Waymo believes within the incapacity neighborhood’s mantra “nothing about us with out us” as we leverage know-how to deliver new transportation choices to {the marketplace}. We look ahead to persevering with this work and welcoming further organizations as we develop and scale the Waymo Accessibility Community.


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