Kia Corporation and Hyundai Motor Company are providing Telluride and Palisade SUVs, respectively, which have been modified to allow wheelchair access in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The modified wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) are equipped with UV-free antimicrobial lights for improved sanitation, and are operated by drivers who have been trained to aid users.
The pilot program is the first WAV service in Los Angeles County to utilize modified SUVs. The new service is powered by ButterFLi, an L.A.-based platform provider for people with accessibility challenges. Rides can be booked for weekdays between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. via the ButterFLi app, web, or phone.
“The pandemic has worsened the mobility situations for the disabled and elderly, especially wheelchair users,” said Youngcho Chi, President and Chief Innovation Officer of Hyundai Motor Group. “Under our vision toward Human-Centered Mobility, we want to make our services more accessible and inclusive to better ensure universal access for everyone and ultimately help achieve freedom of mobility for all.”
EnableLA has been launched as part of Hyundai Motor Group’s Universal Mobility Project to better serve those with physical, social, and economic barriers through broad application of its smart mobility solutions. EnableLA focuses on people who rely on wheelchairs for mobility, but Universal Mobility Project aims to expand to include the elderly, pregnant women, children, and low-income families to deliver mobility freedom to everyone.
Since 2020, the Group has taken part in the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Inclusivity Quotient, a global initiative that aims to address the needs of underserved communities through inclusive and sustainable accessibility options. The Group and WEF are working together on EnableLA to examine the core principles and guidelines required for universal mobility. The Group will apply WEF’s universal mobility principles in the EnableLA service and share the outcome with WEF.