The Merlin Prize for accessible, autonomous electric vehicles (A2EV) (“the Challenge”) is a global crowd-sourced design challenge focused on developing innovative and inclusive transportation solutions for communities of individuals with physical, sensory, and/or cognitive disabilities.
Automotive industry experts predict that electric vehicles (EVs) will eventually surpass gas-powered vehicles and virtually all autonomous vehicles (AVs) are electric.
Unfortunately, adapting an EV to make it accessible by individuals that require a fixed-frame electric wheelchair or scooter to date has been cost-prohibitive due to the extensive reconfiguration of critical components required to permit ingress and egress.
The goal of this challenge is to change this equation and make autonomous, electric vehicles accessible for all. The focus of the Challenge is to develop accessible, autonomous electric vehicles that function as personal vehicles.
An individual in a wheelchair might require a ramp, while a person with low vision might rely on enhanced auditory alerts. The length of a prosthetic leg controls the need for legroom so that a prosthesis can reach the floor without causing pain, and the level of hearing loss drives the demand of an individual’s more tactile and visual senses. Car manufacturers are currently struggling to evolve from their reliance on gas-powered to more sustainable, electric vehicles, and they are unlikely to spend the required resources to develop inclusive solutions to fit the needs of people with disabilities.
The focus of the Challenge is to develop accessible, autonomous electric vehicles that function as personal vehicles. Innovators can choose to use an existing platform as a base for their design; however, the base platform must be capable of operating at highway speeds and Innovator must make every attempt to receive written permission to use the existing vehicle in their design submission.
Opportunities Focus Area:
– Computer science
– Arts & Design
18 - 24, 25 - 35, 36 - 60
From 1 month to 6 months
26 July, 2020
1 October, 2020
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