Can the sharing economy applied to urban mobility also embrace the needs of those forced to move around in a wheelchair?
A positive response comes from Moby, the project with which the Italdesign company – as announced during the Ces of Las Vegas – managed to place itself among the five finalists of the Toyota Mobility Unlimited Challenge, winning a prize of $500,000 to further develop the idea.
The competition, designed precisely to develop new, even more inclusive mobility solutions, has indeed rewarded the potential of this sort of micro-car sharing designed specifically for urban travel in wheelchairs, which works in a similar way to numerous services related to bicycles and electric cars, but offering special vehicles designed ad hoc.
As shown in the demonstration video, Moby allows you to find the nearest station via app and book your vehicle. Once at the station, the wheel-on system allows you to get on board directly with the wheelchair. The vehicle in question is electric and equipped with semi-autonomous driving, equipped with anti-collision sensors and a special design that allows you to overcome at best possible architectural barriers. This allows the user to move around the city without having to manually push his wheelchair, simply returning the vehicle to one of the stations marked on the app at the end of the rental.
“We could not honestly start the new year in a better way,” the CEO of Italdesign, Jörg Astalosch, said in a statement. “We are proud to be among the five finalists in this competition. We, as a company that provides services to international industries, strongly believe that the mobility of the future should have a positive impact on everyone’s life. Moby is an integral part of this vision, which we sincerely hope to be able to transform into reality in order to be able to offer, in collaboration with municipalities and other companies, a new service that simplifies the life of those who move in a wheelchair”.