Cruise is on a mission to make transportation more accessible, equitable, and inclusive. Over 61 million Americans live with a disability, yet often lack reliable, affordable transportation access, compounding barriers to education, employment, healthcare, and wellbeing.
Self-driving technology has the potential to alleviate transportation barriers that many with disabilities face, but that reality cannot be achieved in a vacuum - it has to be done with direct input from those with lived experience. I came to Cruise as an advocate within the disability community myself, and the refrain, “Nothing about us, without us” rings true.
In developing the Origin Mobility, our wheelchair-accessible autonomous vehicle, and incorporating more accessibility features into our product, Cruise has partnered with a number of disability-led organizations and conducted user testing with people with disabilities to inform our product design.
We are taking an exciting next step in these partnerships, in launching the Cruise Accessibility Council, a cross-disability group of leaders and advocates who will provide external, independent input on Cruise’s product, programs and approach to accessibility. This feedback will be particularly critical as we continue to develop all our services including the Origin Mobility, and expand our commercial service.
We couldn’t be more grateful for the partnership of our Accessibility Council members. They hail from across the country, and bring a wide range of disciplines and lived experiences to the table, with the mission of realizing a more accessible transportation future:
Anil Lewis, Executive Director, National Federation of the Blind
Brad Duerstock, Professor of Engineering, Purdue University
Chris Pangilinan, Vice President, Paratransit Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Christopher Hamilton, The Arc San Fransisco
Daniel Van Sant, Director of Disability Policy, The Harkin Institute
Erin Gildner, Director of Chapter Relations, United Spinal Association
Howard Rosenblum, CEO, at National Association of the Deaf
Congressman James Langevin
John Katona, Industrial Engineer, General Motors
Kathi Pugh: Disability Commissioner, City of Berkeley
Kelly Israel, Autistic Self Advocacy Network
Lee Page, Advocacy Director, Paralyzed Veterans of America
Randall Duchesneau, UX Accessibility
Steffany Dignum, The Arc San Francisco
Swatha Nandhakumar, Advocacy and Outreach, American Council of the Blind
Theo Braddy, Executive Director, National Council on Independent Living
Thomas Foley, Executive Director, National Disability Institute
Zainab Alkebsi, Policy Counsel, National Association of the Deaf
Sachin Pavithran, Executive Director, United States Access Board - *Honorary Member
As we formalize this avenue for input through the Accessibility Council, we’re also inviting feedback from members of the public on the Origin Mobility and other accessibility features.
This is where we need your help: to join our community of experts with disabilities and get notified of paid research opportunities (in person and virtual) to help inform and improve our product, sign up here.
Deep thanks and a warm welcome again to our Cruise Accessibility Council –– and we look forward to sharing more as we move forward.