Jessica Miller-Merrell | , , , , ,| By
It isn’t just the workplace that’s evolving. It’s the way in which we work, combined with the way in which we travel to work, that is also changing. Autonomous vehicles offer a new way to travel and transport ourselves and our families. Today, we’re diving into how autonomous vehicles are changing the future of the workplace.
Episode 140: Future of Work: Autonomous Vehicles Provide Mobility for All with Henry Claypool
For this podcast, we’re joined by Henry Claypool. He’s a Policy Consultant for AAPD, the former Director of the Health and Human Services Office on Disability, and a founding Principal Deputy Administrator of the Administration for Community Living.
An autonomous car is a vehicle that can guide itself without human conduction. This kind of vehicle has become a concrete reality and may pave the way for future systems where computers take over the art of driving. Autonomous cars – also known as driverless cars, robot cars, self-driving cars or autonomous vehicles – are key to helping people have more access to transportation, allowing them to have freedom and accessibility both personally and professionally.
Safety is a critical benefit with the adoption of autonomous vehicles. Henry shares a shocking statistic that might change the way you feel about autonomous vehicles in light of the media coverage around several pilot programs and safety. He says, “We lose over 37,000 people each year due to driver error on our roads. And, you know, that’s equivalent to having a 777 crash every day.”
How Autonomous Vehicles Change Accessibility
Mobility is another benefit of this emerging technology. Henry shares several examples of how autonomous vehicles can help individuals, especially those with disabilities. For example, someone with epilepsy might be able to now use an autonomous vehicle since they don’t have to drive. The same goes for a blind person; they’d be able to navigate into the car, use it, and wouldn’t be required to see much of what’s going on. The car would take care of that. Also, for those who are wheelchair users, autonomous vehicles can be quickly modified to store and house wheelchairs. This type of mobility for individuals and families can impact their lives in a major way including employment, healthcare, and less stress worrying about transport for all family members including children, partners, and another extended family.
Henry says autonomous vehicles should be quite helpful in making these simple everyday tasks easier for people with certain disabilities to engage in.
Other Benefits of Autonomous Vehicles
Aside from safety and mobility benefits, Henry also shares that autonomous vehicles will reduce highway congestion through a more streamlined process and technology that could reduce commute times in major cities. Having moved to Austin last year, I can say that commute times are often crazy here. Recent research from Apartment List on commute times says that, nationwide, one in 36 commuters is considered a “super commuter,” or a person who spends more than 90 minutes traveling to work each day. Autonomous vehicles have the ability to help lessen commute times for everyone, especially in Austin and other cities without a very centralized public transportation system. In less urban areas, these vehicles can greatly enhance mobility as well. And fewer cars on the road means lower pollution levels.
Connect with Henry Claypool.
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*A special thank you to my production team at Total Picture Radio.