We discuss a deeply moving and inspiring email from a listener pushing for autonomous vehicles for people with disabilities; I respond to another listeners’ questions; and we talk about autonomous scooters.
AVs for elderly & disabled mobility
I received an incredibly moving, deeply inspiring email from a listener in Florida, Daniel New. Mr. New is 48 years old; at 30 years old he fell ill with a rare disease that left him blind; deaf; and paralyzed from the waste down. Against all odds, he partially recovered his hearing and learned to walk again, though sadly, he remains blind.
Motivated by his incredible recovery, Mr. New has founded no fewer than four organizations to improve the lives of other disabled persons:
Access Now: An advocacy organization that insures entities in the US are fully complaint with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Power Access: Produces events to create awareness of people living with disabilities.
South Beach Jazz Festival: Now in its fourth year, this annual musical festival features Grammy Award-winning musicians with disabilities.
Miami Beach Council of the Blind; and he’s also a member of the Miami Beach Disability Access Committee (DAC), a committee of the Mayor which brought Audible Pedestrian Signals (APS) to Miami.
Suffice to say then, at least in my mind, Mr. New has earned his spot as the spokesperson for the need to introduce autonomous vehicles sooner rather than later, and I would encourage you to help in any way you can.
Speaking of which, Mr. New asked me a favor in his email: He asked whether I’d be able to introduce him to members of Ford’s Argo.ai team; and to Waymo’s John Krafcik. I promised him I would do whatever I could to help facilitate those intros and am now making an open call to all of you:
If any of you know — or can make introductions to — anybody at Ford’s Argo.ai team and/or to Waymo‘s John Krafcik, please do so. Feel free of course to either introduce them directly to Mr New, or alternatively, you may go through me: just reach out via LinkedIn or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, I like to engage listeners when I can, and in this case, we have a listener by the name of Les Teague who asked several questions, most of which I’ve addressed in today’s episode; have a listen!
Finally, a tweet caught my eye the other day, have a look:
Naturally, I had to reply to this. So I did.
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