Use by people with mobility impairment.

slomobile

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Maybe you should start a thread dedicated to mobility challenged vehicle access to discuss in more detail.
For someone mobility challenged, the potential to get in your FSD vehicle by yourself, have it take you to a destination, and get out by yourself can be life changing.

Lets discuss what it will take for Tesla to build the first vehicle equally accessible to abled and disabled solo operators.
Cybertruck will include Full Self Driving, a power deployable ramp, suspension kneeling, possibly a midgate to allow access between bed and cab.

Walkers are easily stowed in the back seat. Loose canes in the center might be a hazard to the touchscreen. Suspension lowering and running boards ought to help anyone ambulatory into the cab.

When I saw the introduction, especially the Cyberquad portion, I imagined driving my wheelchair up that ramp,
plugging chair in to charge while on the road,
lowering a midgate, slipping out of my wheelchair and into the back seat,
using a rear seat screen or voice recognition to activate FSD to take me to a destination,
somehow being pulled back into my wheelchair,
driving down the ramp and going about my day.

What would it take to make that happen?

Reduce steepness of ramp by extending ramp length and/or kneel suspension lower,
or provide a winch to pull and guide occupied wheelchair up the existing ramp without going over backwards,
or replace the ramp with a tailgate lift. Like a Tommy gate. Might be useful option for loading anything.
Bed wheelchair securement.
A midgate.
A rear seat delete option.
A rear seat screen option,
or FSD voice activation,
or a cable to connect Cybertruck to wheelchair joystick and automatically activate FSD mode.
FSD activation and use without yoke and pedal,
or a rear seat yoke and pedals,
or driver seat delete.
Something to aid the transfer from wheelchair to cab and back,
like a detachable wheelchair seat and conveyor track,
or a small ramp to roll from bed right up to the yoke and pedals.

OR

Choose the route of several new wheelchair accessible pickup trucks where the entire driver's side of the cab comes off on actuators. A lift raises the driver, in his chair, right into the driver's position. I've not seen one of these up close yet. Does Cybertruck have enough clearance for that approach?
Can Cybertruck's B pillar be made removable?

Wheelchair accessible vans often employ a lowered floor or a raised body to allow headroom for people in wheelchairs that sit higher than OEM seats. A preferred option for many, would be a wheelchair that can sit lower, fitting under the steering wheel/yoke, or low tables. This isn't usually possible because the monolithic lead acid batteries occupy the space needed for a lower mechanism. 18650, 2170, or 4680 cells could be distributed around the mechanism, but no wheelchair manufacturers do that. Almost all still use lead acid only. We would be happy for Tesla to revolutionize that electric vehicle sector too. Rehab power wheelchairs are often priced around $30k or $45k for models which can stand the user up.

The obvious solution to Cybertruck's challenges is to just wait for Cybervan. Lets talk about that too. What features should Cybervan have?
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JBee

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For someone mobility challenged, the potential to get in your FSD vehicle by yourself, have it take you to a destination, and get out by yourself can be life changing.

Lets discuss what it will take for Tesla to build the first vehicle equally accessible to abled and disabled solo operators.
Cybertruck will include Full Self Driving, a power deployable ramp, suspension kneeling, possibly a midgate to allow access between bed and cab.

Walkers are easily stowed in the back seat. Loose canes in the center might be a hazard to the touchscreen. Suspension lowering and running boards ought to help anyone ambulatory into the cab.

When I saw the introduction, especially the Cyberquad portion, I imagined driving my wheelchair up that ramp,
plugging chair in to charge while on the road,
lowering a midgate, slipping out of my wheelchair and into the back seat,
using a rear seat screen or voice recognition to activate FSD to take me to a destination,
somehow being pulled back into my wheelchair,
driving down the ramp and going about my day.

What would it take to make that happen?

Reduce steepness of ramp by extending ramp length and/or kneel suspension lower,
or provide a winch to pull and guide occupied wheelchair up the existing ramp without going over backwards,
or replace the ramp with a tailgate lift. Like a Tommy gate. Might be useful option for loading anything.
Bed wheelchair securement.
A midgate.
A rear seat delete option.
A rear seat screen option,
or FSD voice activation,
or a cable to connect Cybertruck to wheelchair joystick and automatically activate FSD mode.
FSD activation and use without yoke and pedal,
or a rear seat yoke and pedals,
or driver seat delete.
Something to aid the transfer from wheelchair to cab and back,
like a detachable wheelchair seat and conveyor track,
or a small ramp to roll from bed right up to the yoke and pedals.

OR

Choose the route of several new wheelchair accessible pickup trucks where the entire driver's side of the cab comes off on actuators. A lift raises the driver, in his chair, right into the driver's position. I've not seen one of these up close yet. Does Cybertruck have enough clearance for that approach?
Can Cybertruck's B pillar be made removable?

Wheelchair accessible vans often employ a lowered floor or a raised body to allow headroom for people in wheelchairs that sit higher than OEM seats. A preferred option for many, would be a wheelchair that can sit lower, fitting under the steering wheel/yoke, or low tables. This isn't usually possible because the monolithic lead acid batteries occupy the space needed for a lower mechanism. 18650, 2170, or 4680 cells could be distributed around the mechanism, but no wheelchair manufacturers do that. Almost all still use lead acid only. We would be happy for Tesla to revolutionize that electric vehicle sector too. Rehab power wheelchairs are often priced around $30k or $45k for models which can stand the user up.

The obvious solution to Cybertruck's challenges is to just wait for Cybervan. Lets talk about that too. What features should Cybervan have?
First up a couple of questions to get my bearings:

  1. What are the dimensions of a typical electric wheelchair? Do you have a dimensional sketch with seat height/size, wheel size, wheel base etc, weight with/without person?
  2. Is it preferable to stay in the wheelchair seat or move to the car seat? If sitting in the wheelchair seat how much height/room does it need around it? Are there safety issues, like seat belts/airbags that need to be dealt with?
  3. Should it just be for a passenger seat, or driver or rear seat? (FSD will need driver override for a few years yet)
  4. What does a typical car/van conversion cost?
I'm genuinely surprised they still use lead acid batteries and I'd expect creating a dedicated chair to operate with the CT/van to be the best way to solve the problem properly, but would also be the most time/cost intensive.

Brushless hub motors and lifepo4 battery packs are a dime a dozen, and if you route your joystick steering signals through a PXH, automation would be fairly simple to implement to even drive the chair arround to the bed for pickup.

Theres definitely room for improvement.
 

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Elon did say we probably don't need seatbelts, the AI will recognize the person, whether sitting straight or sideways etc, and control the deployment of the airbag. Of course, this does not yet have regulatory approval.

Perfect for the disabled. Via ramp(or lift), get into a vehicle.. the wheelchair would be secured automatically via some method.

No need for a seatbelt, and with FSD, Just control everything with voice.

The overall design could be like the interior of the semi, just position in the middle and passenger seating offset to the back left and right. Maybe drop down seat or two for extra passengers.

A base under the wheelchair to act as a mini suspension... just as a normal car seat would.

All doable. just need FSD, and regulatory approval.

I could imagine it being part of the Telsa robo network. I think highly likely.
 
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slomobile

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Off the top of my head typical powerchairs are 24"-28" wide. 17-24" seat height, Seated height to top of head 48-60", total length about the same as user seated height. 10-13" tall drive tires, 5-9" casters, wheelbase 26-50" Rehab chairs are 250lbs to 450lbs. Regular chairs support users up to about 330lbs, Bariatric chairs are wider and can take over 600lb users. 300W rated motors are common, 2000w peak. 120A per side motor controllers. 4-8MPH top speed. Brushless motors are not used on rehab chairs. There was 1 model, but no longer. 2 Group 24 MK gel 70Ah batteries are common.

Here is the order form for the chair I use.
https://www.permobil.com/us/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/M3-Corpus-US-Jan2022.pdf

You cannot really make generalizations about what users will prefer. If there is a way to do something, some will love it and some will hate it. Injuries and remaining capabilities are unique to each individual. I prefer to transfer to the vehicle driver seat because I can, I might not be able much longer. I would like the option to let my wife drive sometimes and be a passenger next to her. There are options like removable seats mounted to L track. I have smartfloor in my van. there are other systems. Wheelchair users are more often treated like cargo. Strapped down in the way back with 4 straps. The things that look like seatbelts on our chairs are called "positioning devices" they are not rated as restraints, though they are used in that capacity constantly. Additional seatbelts built into wheelchair vehicles are comically bad design. Many people require custom formed foam, or pressure distributing air bladder cushions so it is better or necessary for them to drive from their wheelchair. They use single point wheelchair securement options like EZ lock bolts, or Dahl plates to lock the wheelchair in place. Each marriage of wheelchair to vehicle is a custom job. There is no standard for clearance. You just put them together and see what you need to cut out to make it fit. Plastic interior parts are always broken in wheelchair vehicles from being bashed into. Hand controls are usually required to drive from a wheelchair. Steering wheel spinners or Tri pin spinners are used. It would be amazing to have wheelchair and vehicle designed to work together. That has never happened as far as I know.

New WAV minivans cost in the neighborhood of $80k. Trucks $90k - $120k. Full sized accessible vans are getting rare because production gets diverted to delivery outfits. Prices over 100k and waits over 2 years for custom orders. Used prices are all over the map. They get sold many times over.
 


Sirfun

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My daughter has always used a wheelchair. I thought the same thing that the ramp with a mid-gate would be a very good fit. If the ramp is too steep, the CT could kneel like you mentioned. Also, I could back the CT to a curb. That could easily reduce 8" of height, and make the ramp less steep.
 

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Sounds like you really want a empty Optimus as a suit to wear... :cool:

Maybe Optimus and Iron Man have more in common than we think. Hopefully one day soon that will happen and add a whole bunch of mobility back to those that need it.

I once, some decades ago, imagined an artificial muscle suit that not only supported and gave humans extra ordinary strength, but also allowed the suit to be used as resistance devices for low impact physio workouts as well. I also thought it would be handy if it could lock in certain positions to resmble furniture, you know so you can sit without a chair, or even lie down on a hard flat surface but still be supported as if you where on a bed. That linked via Neural link obviously result in some far reaching lifestyle changes and capabilities. Also ideal for a Spacesuit on Mars so you don't loose so much bone and musle mass from lack of gravity and mobility.

-

Anyhow, on a more here and now solution, I'm thinking one idea is to seperate the seat part, which is customisable to the users needs, from the wheeled drivetrain part. By doing that you then only need to transfer the seat to the vehicle, and you could use a vehicle rated seat rail system on both to attach the seat, and include the seatbelt in the custom seat. It also makes the moving, lifting and positioning using electric actuators easier to get the seat into the car.

Technically a seat scissor lift could be incorporated into the skateboard itself, and along with a seat swivel mount might make it possible get into any car seat for some users. It would also help in the kitchen etc. and being able to operate at a standing height at counters etc.

With a optionally removable wheelchair "skateboard" the overall thing will also be less high and bulky, and could possibly be tilted up and made to fit next to the passenger seats next to the door, or in the middle of the CT cabin or maybe even frunk and not take up the bed area. It also makes the skateboard the same componentry accross the range but still allows for custom seats.

For the drivetrain on the skateboard I was thinking something like this using a caster setup on one side, and a hub motor driven lifting track on the other side. This provides stair and steep ramp acess and stability, and better off-road terrain capability without the bulk of a large wheel setup, and can easily be folded up on itself for compact storage. The best thing though is when the track is lifted off the floor (even just a few cm) it can act as a normal wheel without scrubbing whilst doing on the spot turns using the castor(s). You could possibly also do a self balancing version with the adjustable tracks, with the bonus that the track could hover above the ground to stop tipping.

Tesla Cybertruck Use by people with mobility impairment. images (24)


The skateboard would only be as high as the track wheel though, so some 25-30cm high and a much more compact package than the above picture. The idea would be to have removable battery packs like a ebike for ease of charging and extra range whilst on the move. The onboard CT inverter will more than suffice for recharging, and it also allows some other devices to be run of the packs if you wanted to. I have a whole infrastructure map to replace grid power with batteries in my head, and that starts by cutting the cord on most household handheld use devices, as has been done in the powertool industry.

With the seat I'm thinking a ribbed design would be best with individually inflatable rib cushions. The ribs would sit on a central metal frame and can be hinged to fit body types and disabilities, and the ribs would be adjustable to fit with a center release, the air cushions would provide support and comfort and by alternating pressure in the cushions would allow for a massaging function to enhance blood flow and reduce bed sores etc.

Tesla Cybertruck Use by people with mobility impairment. images (25)


Sort of like the seat part of this but full length with head and leg rest. Theres a possibility to make the ribs dynamically adjust to the user by controlling air pressure inside the ribs itself using a bladder in each to bend its shape. We could also use some sensors to monitor user health (usual heartrate, EKG etc stuff) then obviously have built in connectivity via wifi/4G.

I'd then run the whole thing off a open source platform (some sort of creative commons licence that protects the developed IP from big pharma and price gauging) You can run it off a Pi based AP (we developed some hardware once for a Pi0/ESP32 running Ardupilot) but there are lots of cost effective platforms you can run on now. Just include a power kill switch that the user can operate effectively.

There's quite a few options to improve these somewhat dated systems. In all this heavy feature adding it's important to keep the system highly operable and reliable, so basic functions like moving it should be run on a dedicated control system that just "always works".

Hopefully, something like this can be put together relatively quickly. The main factor will be to get some development funding to realise some of the ideas step by step, and then expand from that base.
 
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slomobile

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I'm thinking one idea is to seperate the seat part, which is customisable to the users needs, from the wheeled drivetrain part.
Thank you for engaging on these challenges. Lots of good ideas in there, still processing.
https://eksobionics.com/ is a bit of what is available right now if you want to feel like Ironman.

If the chair could lower me enough to pick up a dropped pen and raise me enough to do dishes and cook, that would be wonderful.

Your idea of tailored seat module that can swap between conveyances is a very good one. It is very difficult for a wheelchair user to get in any kind of small boat. But most boats have modular seatposts which secure into flush deck mounts. With a hoist on a dock, it could pluck me out of my chair base left behind on the dock to charge and install me/seat atop the seatpost on the boat. Then return me back after our 3 hour tour. The same seat posts are in RVs and travel trailers. Installing one at every CT seat location lets everyone have their own custom tailored seat, not just the disabled.

Seat posts can incorporate suspension https://allsalt.com/landing/x-series to reduce jolts from sidewalk cracks as well as waves. That is a bigger problem for most of us than stairs.

If quick actuators are attached to the top, and universal joint at the base, The seatpost can be actively pivoted so that it is always inline with the gravity vector, or the resultant after adding vehicle accelerations. It would hold the user in his seat the same way that water remains in a bucket swung overhead. If the wheelchair base could do this, I think it would be such a compelling personal electric vehicle, it would be adopted by the general public. Ultimately, that is what I want, to help remove the stigma. Go take a ride in a mobility scooter, its really fun.

Something like this https://www.discovermymobility.com/...tationvehicle/summit/hummerextreem/index.html
but pivots in 2 directions instead of just one. Look how it climbs steep ramps like Cybertruck has.

So long as it is always marketed as recreational, not medical, that would bypass many of the bad restrictions the FDA has imposed on wheelchair manufacturers.

The self leveling suspension seatpost would be useful for stair climbers.

Ambitious engineers that want to help often start by making a stair climbing robot and stick a human on top. Those often end up tearing up carpet, causing injury from lack of suspension, being extremely slow, cumbersome and heavy, and generally less useful than typical chairs. I would love to have a stair climbing chair, just haven't seen one I would trust yet. People underestimate how much friction exists, and how much power is required to turn in place. A simple 4WD chair going straight can draw 10A and when turning 350A That is why the Viking linked above isn't really a practical indoor vehicle, plus its size.

Seat suspension and rapid leveling is something we need, is possible with current tech, and has not been done. Could that work inside a Cybertruck? Possibly. Reduce the number of seating positions to gain clearance. With Steer by wire the yoke and pedals could be mounted to the seat rather than the vehicle. Like this
 
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slomobile

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My daughter has always used a wheelchair. I thought the same thing that the ramp with a mid-gate would be a very good fit. If the ramp is too steep, the CT could kneel like you mentioned. Also, I could back the CT to a curb. That could easily reduce 8" of height, and make the ramp less steep.
The curb is a good idea. It got me thinking there could be an inflatable actuator on the bottom edge of the ramp that helps push it up. The steepness is really only a problem when we try to accelerate up too fast. We could drive onto the bottom part of the ramp, wait for the inflation to reduce the steepness, then drive on the rest of the way.

This would serve to help load things too. Use a hand truck to drop a load of heavy things at the base of ramp. Inflate till level, retract ramp till load is near bed, shove your bags of concrete or whatever into the bed without ever lifting them.
 

JBee

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Well some of the ideas actually stem from a agricultural rover I'd like to make, that also has an optional rider to be used as a farm bike replacement buggy, and mobile worker platform for seeding, weeding etc. It also can be used for larger vehicles by placing one unit in each corner. A cross between these two but with farming in mind and much more compact and only electric.








Obviously the recreational sector is also ludicrous and leveraging the product against multiple industries and markets would be a good business model.

(BTW We actually were looking at building a racing sim rig like that once while my son was professionally competing in rally esports. Its funny they're using a old G25 racing wheel setup on that)
 


JBee

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Seat posts can incorporate suspension
We can make the lifting mechanism double as air suspension on the skateboard setup.

I'll have to make a simple CAD drawing to get packaging volumes and show the ideas better. Words are a bit clumsy. 🙂
 
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slomobile

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We can make the lifting mechanism double as air suspension on the skateboard setup.

I'll have to make a simple CAD drawing to get packaging volumes and show the ideas better. Words are a bit clumsy. 🙂
Its clear. Probably a 4 bar linkage with air actuator.
 
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slomobile

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(BTW We actually were looking at building a racing sim rig like that once while my son was professionally competing in rally esports. Its funny they're using a old G25 racing wheel setup on that)
I've still got my old Logitech momo wheel.
 
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slomobile

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With a optionally removable wheelchair "skateboard" the overall thing will also be less high and bulky,
The significance of that part escaped me till just now.

The road going EV has a skateboard battery. The personal EV (wheelchair) has a skateboard battery and must be detachable/attachable to the road EV.

Let the wheelchair battery pack be a connectorized removable 'chunk' of the road battery pack.
Give the wheelchair adjustable ride height.
Adjust it so the batteries are the same height above ground.
Open the vehicle door revealing a missing square of the vehicle floor/skateboard/battery.
Drive the chair to slot into the missing skateboard chunk, engaging electrical and structural connections.
Raise the wheelchair wheels using the same ride height mechanism.
The chair wheels remain outside, and both skateboards are unified at the same level with the user at a proper height to drive the vehicle.
All skateboards charge together. Up to 1 removable skateboard per door.
The personal EV (wheelchair) would house self contained systems like seat heating/cooling/seatbelt/airbag/cupholder/phone cradle/audio/touchscreen/network/personalized driver controls suited to the individual.
You choose a yoke/wheel/joystick/foot controls/hand throttle and brake/mouth stick/head button array/whatever you need. It becomes an integral part of your car when attached.
The road vehicle has 1 assigned driver at all times, which can be selected from among all driver control equipped seating positions, or the AI driver.
Other passenger seats sit on similar interchangable battery pods that can be moved around the vehicle on furniture dollys and attached with bolts to save cost and weight. This allows personalized environmental controls per seat, including rear seats. Future upgrades/swaps at any time.

Is your "pod" configured just how you like it and don't want to lose it when you sell your car? Swap it with a generic pod from your new vehicle. The used vehicle buyer will be happy to get a brand new pod.
 
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Battery modules with different use levels wear at uneven rates, and trying to use them together damages weak cells more.

With the current battery chemistries, it's not not a good idea to make packs modular like that. You 'pod' battery would have to be used more like a battery recharger than as part of a larger pack.

Otherwise you will have significantly shorter battery life.

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