Autonomous Vehicle Design Anti-Patterns: Making Emerging Transportation Technologies Inaccessible by Design


Fully autonomous or “self-driving” vehicles represent a potentially transformative shift in personal mobility. Given the emerging nature of self-driving vehicle technologies, however, guidance for accessible implementation is limited. It has been suggested that the result is that much of this emerging technology is being designed in a manner that will render it largely inaccessible for persons with disabilities. Borrowing from object-oriented programming we identify common barriers to accessibility which we argue are de facto antipatterns in the design of accessible self-driving vehicle technology. Drawing from the literature and our own studies we describe design commonalities (anti-patterns) which we argue may pose problems for persons with disabilities. We believe that this work may provide direction for designers regarding how to better support the needs of persons with a range of disabilities in the self-driving vehicle context.