We were just talking about KiaMobility and the reopening of Kia360 in Seoul, South Korea, the Kia Corp building dedicated to showing consumers future mobility solutions by the automaker. Both are aimed at creating mobility solutions, personal or public, for the average consumer. In the spirit of mobility for all, Kia Corp and the Hyundai Motor Group as a whole has launched “EnableLA” to assist people with mobility barriers in the Los Angeles area. This is also the home base for the MoceanLab project launched in 2019, also by the Hyundai Motor Group, aimed at creating mobility platforms and more diverse mobility services in Los Angeles.
“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.” – Youngcho Chi, President and Chief Innovation Officer of Hyundai Motor Group
To start off EnableLA, the Kia Corp will be providing Kia Telluride SUVs, whereas Hyundai will be providing units of its Palisade SUV. Each SUV will have been already modified to provide diverse mobile solutions, such as wheelchair access, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), UV-free antimicrobial lights for improved sanitation, and vehicles piloted by drivers with healthcare experience able to aid users onboard. Known as WAVs for wheelchair accessible vehicles, this modified vehicle program is starting its first wave in Los Angeles County, powered by ButterFLi, an L.A.-based platform provider for people with accessibility challenges. Hailing a ride is easy too – users can contact EnableLA on weekdays between 7 am to 7 pm via the ButterFLi app, web, or phone.
The first wave of EnableLA will be placing a focus on people who rely on wheelchairs for mobility, hence the use of WAVs. EnableLA is also a part of the Hyundai Motor Group’s Universal Mobility Project. Hyundai Motor and Kia Corp are working together to provide smart mobility solutions for people with physical, social, and economic barriers. Depending on the success of the first wave of EnableLA, the Universal Mobility Project will eventually expand out to include other users, including the elderly, pregnant women, children, and low-income families. This also reminds us of the smart mobility ecosystem depicted by the Hyundai Motor Group during the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show.
Although at first, one would assume the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) would have a focus on consumer-related products, like hand-held devices or household appliances. However, what are automobiles other than a product made to serve the consumer? So of course, several automakers had an exhibit or two during the 2020 CES, and just in time before the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the rest of the planned shows for the year. With that in mind, we only have the concepts provided during the 2020 CES to grapple with what this mobility ecosystem entails. Many ideas have been thrown around – autonomous ridesharing, shuttling, multimodal transportation, personal mobility, and even the Air Taxi.What will Kia and the Hyundai Motor Group work on next? You can follow us on Miami Lakes Kia social media to find out.
Photo Source/Copyright: Kia Media
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