Hyundai, Kia modify Palisade, Telluride to assist wheelchair-bound people
Hyundai Motor and Kia Corporation, the two Korean car manufacturers, have joined hands to launch a new mobility service to assist people on wheelchairs. The initiative called EnableLA, launched in Los Angeles, United States, will see modified SUVs like Palisade and Telluride play a new role together.
These modified Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride SUVs will allow wheelchair access in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
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The modified wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) are offered with UV-free antimicrobial lights for sanitation, and are operated by trained drivers.
The pilot program is the first WAV service in Los Angeles to utilise modified SUVs. The new service, powered by a Los Angeles-based platform provider, will offer rides for people with accessibility challenges. The rides can be booked for weekdays for 12 hours starting 7am through an app.
“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," he added.
The initiative is part of Hyundai’s Universal Mobility Project to serve those with physical, social, and economic barriers. While the LA-based initiative focuses on people who rely on wheelchairs, Hyundai's Universal Mobility Project aims to expand and include people like elderly, pregnant women, children, and low-income families as well.
Both Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride have been two of the most popular three-row SUVs in the United States. Kia Telluride had won the World Car of the Year award last year. Under the hood, the Kia Telluride gets a 3.8 litre V6 engine with peak power of 291 hp. The Hyundai Palisade, which also gets the same 3.8-litre engine, can generate power of about 287 bhp.