Hyundai and Kia are partnering for EnableLA, a new universal mobility service to assist people with mobility barriers in Los Angeles.
The two brands, both part of Hyundai Motor Group, will offer Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride SUVs modified to allow wheelchair access.
The pilot program is the first service in Los Angeles County to utilize modified SUVs. The new service is powered by ButterFLi, an L.A.-based platform provider for people with accessibility challenges.
The modified wheelchair accessible vehicles are equipped with UV-free antimicrobial lights for improved sanitation, and are operated by drivers who have been trained to aid users.
The pandemic has worsened the mobility situations for the disabled and elderly, especially wheelchair users, said Youngcho Chi, president and chief innovation officer of Hyundai Motor Group.
“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,” Chi says in a release.
EnableLA has been launched as part of Hyundai Motor Group’s Universal Mobility Project to better serve those with physical, social, and economic barriers through broad application of its smart mobility solutions.
The project is similar to one launched by Toyota in 2017 called “Mobility For All.” Ford also offers its “Ford Accessibility Program,” which offers adaptive equipment reimbursement of up to $1,000 (or up to $200 for alert hearing devices, lumbar support or running boards), and is available on any eligible Ford vehicle purchased or leased from a U.S. Ford dealer.
Hyundai Motor Group's new service focuses on people who rely on wheelchairs for mobility, but Universal Mobility Project aims to expand to include the elderly, pregnant women, children, and low-income families.