ATRS’ New Wheelchair Vans Driving Technology System

Wheelchair-bound Drivers Find an Ally with Using Wheelchair Vans Driving Technoloy

For individuals that are wheelchair-bound, the Automatic Transport and Retrieval System or ATRS is one type of technology worth considering. The system installed in wheelchair vans was produced through the joint efforts of Freedom Sciences LLC and the universities Carnegie-Mellon and Lehigh. Once the driver is safely secured onto the seat, the computer-automated device does the rest by guiding and directing the chair from the initial position outside the vehicle to the desired location and position within the vehicle.

An individual can now remotely control his chair towards the rear platform.

Traditionally, seats made for wheelchair-bound individuals were not designed to handle the stress or pressure as efficiently as a car seat would. In the event of a collision, there is a high possibility that the individual would get thrown out of the vehicle because of the impact, resulting in injury. A car seat subjected to 47 crashes can do better than the traditional seats installed in handicap vans. However, the design of a typical car seat makes it difficult for the individual to get in and out of his chair. Use of ATRS technology has changed that by assisting the driver onto the seat. Unique to the system is its ability to store itself in times when it is not needed.

Operating the ATRS

Pressing a button instructs the system to move the wheelchair van’s seat towards the open driver’s door and even lowering itself to allow the individual to transfer easier. The same technology has existed for some time but this type of technology has done something better. Another button instructs the system to lower the rear platform of the vehicle. A device attached to the wheelchair allows the individual to remotely control his chair towards the rear platform. Once the wheelchair is detected by the system, the system guides it to a section of the vehicle where it can be stored.

The wheelchair vans driving technoloy is not perfect. Upper body strength and flexibility is required from the user to get onto the seat. This problem has been looked into by Freedom Sciences. As a solution, the company is designing a more advanced model of the ATRS to allow individuals to slide easier from wheelchair to car seat.

Since 2007, ATRS has been selling this wheelchair vans driving technoloy system at a price of $15,000-$20,000 per unit, which is comparatively cheaper than having the van modified to permit a wheelchair-bound person to drive.