New standard sets a high bar on safety requirements
A workgroup within the official body of European standards CEN has developed a framework for adapting vehicles for people with disabilities.
The group that developed CWA 16697:2013 consists of a number of organisations from several European countries, among others manufacturers of vehicle adaptation solutions, installers, funding bodies, driving assessment, driver licensing, trade bodies and vehicle inspection. All group members have contributed material which has been used as a base in this framework which is the first independent standard for vehicle adaptation in the world.
"This is something much awaited by serious operators. Not only does it give us the opportunity to compete on equal terms, but for each country that adopts the framework it is also an acknowledgement of everyone’s right to travel safely regardless of their adaptation needs", says Håkan Sandberg CEO of Autoadapt and president of the Swedish trade association of vehicle adaptation.
CWA 16697:2013 consists of a main part that addresses general requirements of manufacturing and installation of adaptation solutions, as well as a number of appendices that cover specific adaptations.
"The next step for us as a trade association is to make sure that the decision makers within the Swedish road authorities and government ensure that compliance to these regulations becomes statutory", Håkan Sandberg concludes.
In co-operation with The Swedish Transport Agency and The Swedish Transport Administration, the Swedish Trade Association of Vehicle Adaptation have decided that all members shall have implemented the standard by 1st January 2015.
My vehicle adaptation
Carl Fritzell, Sweden
What type of vehicle do you drive and how is it adapted for you?
"A Honda CR-V fitted with a Carospeed Menox hand control."
How did you come up with this solution?
"In my previous car I had a hand control without the electric functions, but I felt it got a little bit difficult to use the turn signal, especially in roundabouts."
Is this your first adapted vehicle?
"No, this is my second one. My first was a Volvo S60 with a Carospeed hand control."
What will be the main difference for you with this new adaptation?
"For me there isn't really much of a difference, I mean I do try out the other functions now and then just to keep them fresh in my mind, but the problem for me was as I said using the turn signal in roundabouts."
If you could choose freely where in the world would you take your adapted vehicle?
"I'm going to drive down to Croatia this summer with my friends. Hopefully we'll take my car, that way everyone can drive."
The Carthans are coming!
Recently we had a visit from a group of marketing students from Carthage College in Wisconsin. They've written about their trip to Sweden, visit to Autoadapt and a number of other companies and places.
If you're curious as what they had to say, you can check out their blogs here: