In Brazil, there are 46 million people that have some kind of disability. 7% of them have a motor disability. Despite a wheelchair user being capable of driving an adapted car, when they go to the streets, they must face the obstacles there. The lack of accessibility it’s overwhelming even in the main Brazilian cities.
In partnership with Agency GTB and Code Studio, Ford Brazil redesigned the Ecosport trunk’s mat, in order to optimize it, giving it a new function: a portable ramp for disabled drivers. To use, the driver just needs to get the Accessibility Mat from the trunk, fold it, put in the back of their wheelchair, and use it whenever they need to.
The Accessibility Mat also has sensors and a microprocessor that sends Bluetooth signals to the wheelchair user’s mobile phone every time it is used. An app and a web site gather this data, pointing the places in need of accessibility. So the local authorities can check this information and do something to make the city more accessible.
Ecosport was chosen because it’s the best selling Ford vehicle for disabled drivers. The idea is to develop different Accessibility Mats for all Ford cars.
Much more than a campaign, the product development was developed by their inventors Icaro de Abreu, Vinny Couto and Rodrigo Lima with a lot of contributions from wheelchair users Michelle and Billy who helped to develop the Accessibility Mat and also approved the project.
The launching of the Accessibility Mat happened on 23rd October in Brazil.