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A2018-01: Regarding Nonvisual Access to Automated and Connected Vehicles

Adopted in: 2018

Topics: Transportation

WHEREAS, vehicles with level four and five automation, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, operate vehicle steering, acceleration, and braking without human driver input and are designed so the operator is not expected to monitor the roadway while the vehicle is in self-driving mode; and

WHEREAS, connected Vehicles use technologies to communicate with the driver, other cars on the road, roadside infrastructure and the "cloud", in order to improve vehicle safety and vehicle efficiency; and

WHEREAS, private industry stakeholders are already designing, developing, and testing such vehicles; and

WHEREAS, in March of this year, Minnesota Governor Dayton issued executive order 18-04, establishing an Advisory Council on Connected and Automated Vehicles to develop recommendations for changes in state law, rules, and policies to maximize the benefits and prepare for the widespread adoption of automated and connected vehicles; and

WHEREAS, more than thirty states have already enacted legislation regarding automated and connected vehicles, with more states introducing such legislation every year; and

WHEREAS, inadequate public transportation systems and inaccessible rural and suburban transportation options have long presented a major barrier to employment opportunities for blind people and others who cannot drive traditional vehicles; and

WHEREAS, if properly designed from the outset, innovations in automated and connected vehicle technology represent a potentially valuable new resource to help blind people gain greater independence and overcome challenges related to limited transportation options; now therefore

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota in Convention assembled this 17th day of November, 2018, in the city of St. Cloud, Minnesota, that we call upon the Governor's Advisory Council on Connected and Automated Vehicles and upon the Minnesota legislature to adopt recommendations and enact legislation regarding level four and five autonomous vehicles that will 1) require nonvisual access in user interfaces; 2) include accessibility as a component of reporting requirements, and 3) prohibit licensing requirements that discriminate on the basis of disability; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization call upon automobile manufacturers, technology companies, and all other stakeholders involved in designing, developing, and deploying automated and connected vehicles to make their vehicles nonvisually accessible to the blind.

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