Kia, Hyundai to provide transport services for disabled individuals in US

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Kia and Hyundai have announced the launch of “EnableLA,” a new universal transport service designed to help physically challenged individuals as well as those with mobility barriers in Los Angeles, California.

Both automotive brands provided their best-selling SUVs, the Telluride and Palisade, which have been modified to allow wheelchair access in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

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Called the modified wheelchair-accessible vehicles (WAVs), these rides have been adjusted to adapt to the needs of their passengers. They will be equipped with UV-free antimicrobial lights for improved sanitation and will be operated by drivers who have been trained to assist the disabled.

EnableLA will be the first WAV service in Los Angeles County to utilize modified SUVs. It has been launched as part of Hyundai’s Universal Mobility Project which aims to better serve those with physical, social, and economic barriers through broad application of its smart mobility solutions.

The program will focus mainly on individuals who rely on wheelchairs for mobility, although the South Korean automotive brands say that the Universal Mobility Project has plans to expand its operations to include the elderly, pregnant women, children, and low-income families to deliver mobility freedom to everyone.

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Rides can be booked for weekdays between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. using the ButterFLi app, web, or phone.

“The pandemic has worsened the mobility situations for the disabled and elderly, especially wheelchair users. 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,” said  Hyundai Motor Group President and Chief Innovation Officer Youngcho Chi.

Photos from Kia

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