Car manufacturers spend a lot of time researching ergonomic design and considering how to make the functions of their vehicles easy to use.
Recently, cars have begun to be fitted with infotainment systems. These integrated units can lead to some drivers with disabilities needing fewer vehicle adaptations. This is because functions, such as navigation and in-car entertainment, are gathered in one place. The system allows you to search through menus to find what you need using either a touchscreen or buttons and swivel-wheels.
BMW has gone further by introducing ‘gesture control’ technology, where users can make motions that the car can sense and follow commands from. This technology is limited, but you can do things like turn up the volume of the radio. It’s easy to see how it could grow into something really valuable for disabled people in the future.
What about those who still find in-built car tech wanting? This is where driving adaptations called remote control devices come into play. These are aids that allow key functions of a vehicle to be controlled safely and comfortably.
How does a remote control device work?
The device is a single additional control panel that attaches to your steering wheel. Remote control devices work like a TV remote; they are often combined with a steering ball, enabling you to steer and operate basic car functions, such as indicators, windscreen wipers and headlights, with one hand.
Can these devices be fitted to any car?
Devices such as those covered here should be compatible with most cars. However, we recommend speaking to your Motability Scheme adaptation installer for information on the types of devices, fitting and availability to ensure you get the best solution for your needs.
More adaptations available on the Motability Scheme
To browse the full range of adaptations available on the Motability Scheme please click the link below.
Can remote control devices be paired with other Motability Scheme adaptations?
There should be no conflict between the remote control device and other adaptations. Your Motability Scheme dealer or adaptation installer can advise you on the best combination of driving adaptations for your needs.
This is the level of technology currently available—but expect to see more advanced remote technology used in the future.
For instance, some manufacturers are working on summoning – a remote type of technology that allows you to call your car out of a garage or driveway at the flick of a switch. It’s thought that, eventually, you’ll be able to summon it to any location, with the vehicle able to drive itself.
Furthermore, a few cars are now using biometric sensors to detect the wellbeing of the driver. For example, some are fitted with Attention Assistance which determines initial signs of fatigue. So it’s possible that cars could soon be diagnosing more complex needs and offering up solutions to meet them.
Time will tell how widely available this will be and how far the technology is developed, but for the meantime, remote control devices form a valuable part of the Motability Scheme adaptations range and can help to make driving a better experience for you.