Building a More Accessible Transportation Future

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Mobility is something we rely on every day. Whether it’s the capability of our own two feet, our access to public transportation, or our physical and mental ability to operate a vehicle, mobility allows us freedom and independence.


But, it’s something many of us probably take for granted. The usual methods don’t actually work for everyone. As we leap into the next generation of transportation technology, we have a unique opportunity to think differently about design. We can create solutions that allow everyone to get from A to B with ease.


In this episode of the Women Driving the Future series, Ed Bernardon interviews Ann Frye, Director, Ann Frye Ltd and Campbell McKee, President of the European Mobility Group. Frye is an expert and consultant in the area of mobility for people with disabilities, as well as accessibility and transportation. She has worked globally with governments and other transportation organizations to help make transportation available and accessible to everyone. The European Mobility Group is a nonprofit organization that helps adapt existing vehicles so that they can be operated by people with disabilities.


Today, we’ll talk about how these two are working to create a future where people with disabilities, and their passengers, have better access to mobility. They’ll share why universal design is an important step towards leveling accessibility, and why it’s important for designers and engineers to understand the breadth of, and have empathy for, the users of the options and solutions that they create.


Some Questions I Ask:

  • What variety of things do you have to address for the people you help? (3:45)
  • How are you accommodating those who are transportation challenged? (6:40)
  • What are the typical challenges you face when you work with governments or transportation agencies? (8:31)
  • What opportunities do you see now that we're at the cusp of being able to add autonomy, and the possibility of redesign, to vehicles? (18:48)
  • What concerns do you have when it comes to autonomous vehicles? (21:30)

What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • The quality that designers must possess in order to create the right mobility options for those with disabilities (0:48)
  • The specificity of needs that must be met to make transportation possible for everyone (4:58)
  • Why some people might not initially be comfortable with this level of technology (13:04)
  • An example of accidentally clever vehicle design that made things more comfortable for everyone (26:25)
  • Why the test group for new design needs to be diverse (31:46)

Connect With Campbell McKee:

Connect With Ann Frye:

Connect with Ed Bernardon:



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