posted on - 2022-12-25
Wheelchair-accessible vehicles have become more prominent over the past few years thanks to government automotive regulations that have standardized their manufacture, distribution, installation, and usage.
Manufacturing a wheelchair-to-vehicle transfer device or a wheelchair-accessible vehicle requires immense R&D (research and development) effort from the manufacturer’s side. Manufacturing involves device quality control, user testing, Noise Vibration Harshness tests, and field tests. So only experts in the automotive field will be able to understand the various aspects of developing a wheelchair-to-vehicle transfer device or a wheelchair-accessible vehicle.
The India Motor Vehicles Act 2019 and AIS conventions from ARAI (Automotive Research Association India) have stipulated various guidelines for modifying a vehicle to an “adapted vehicle.”
The definition of “adapted vehicle”- means a motor vehicle either specially designed and constructed or to which alterations have been made under section (52) [alteration of the motor vehicle] for the use of a person suffering from any physical defect or disability, and used solely for such a person. Here, the India motor vehicle act refers to ‘alterations’ to a vehicle as a change in the structure of a vehicle which results in a change in its basic feature. Hence choosing a dealer/manufacturer who doesn’t alter vehicle structure is important when you retrofit an accessible device in a car.
“We want customers to be aware of such laws before considering a manufacturer. In addition, we recommend that car owners keep their local RTO (Road Transport Office) updated with their alterations and gets their vehicles certified post installations. ” – says Ashwin, founder at Caruna seatings.
Importance of airbags and other seat safety systems
Automotive seats these days are equipped with –
*a weight sensor to sense if a child less than 24 kgs is sitting on the seat
*power seating recliner equipment
The accessibility retrofitment manufacturer must have significant knowledge in the vehicle seating technology to intergrate them with their device. These have been successfully implemented and executed in many high-end Indian vehicles also.
Think of most modern electric wheelchairs. The price ranges between Rs 1,00,000/- to Rs 2,50,000/- and upwards. A wheelchair-transfer-vehicle provides passengers the double advantage of traveling safely in a vehicle and using the same vehicle seat as a wheelchair. Along with this, avoidance of various other injuries during accidental falls from vehicle transfers ( a common problem with wooden transfer boards) make these devices worth their buck.
Various accessibility standards are still yet to take force in India, which would certainly benefit the country. Some of the missing are related to:
Caruna seatings is an Indian-based manufacturer that provides such wheelchair-to-vehicle devices. Persons interested may Whatsapp the following numbers for inquiries and advise: +91 80723 36673, +91 94898 76146
Currently, Caruna is taking orders in Mumbai (& Maharashtra state), Bangalore (& Karnataka state), Hyderabad (& Andhra state), Chennai (Tamil Nadu state).
The basic model price starts from Rs 94,500/- onwards.