Citroën Develops Accessible Car for Wheelchair Users

Published 07 July 2023

2 min read

Accessible design in the automotive sector largely revolves around bespoke refits to suit individual users. Citroën has developed a concept car that makes it possible for more people with lower limb disabilities to drive independently.

The concept is an update of the French marque’s Ami One design – a small electric vehicle only 2.41m (7ft 11ins) long, 1.39m (4ft 7ins) wide and 1.52m (5ft) high that can be used without a driver’s licence. The reduced footprint provides more space to manoeuvre around the car, and its lower height makes it easier for the driver to transfer between a wheelchair and car seat.

Developed in collaboration with French company Pimas, an expert at adapting vehicles for disabled people, the “Ami for All” incorporates several accessibility features. A wide-angled hinge on the passenger side enables the door to open wider, making it easier to get into the car from the pavement and safer for roadside parking. A strapping system helps users enter the vehicle and move into the driver’s seat.

Onboard, a simple push-pull lever lets the driver manually control the accelerator and brake with their hands, and a central knob on the steering wheel provides better handling when turning. Meanwhile, straps and a luggage rack allow users to store their (non-motorised, foldable) wheelchairs either in the passenger-side footwell or (if a second person is sitting there) on the rear, outside of the car.

With an estimated 131.8 million people using a wheelchair (Wheelchair Foundation, 2016), Citroën’s “Ami for All” offers a blueprint for how the automotive sector can better serve this growing consumer base.

The concept is an update of the French marque’s Ami One design – a small electric vehicle only 2.41m (7ft 11ins) long, 1.39m (4ft 7ins) wide and 1.52m (5ft) high that can be used without a driver’s licence. The reduced footprint provides more space to manoeuvre around the car, and its lower height makes it easier for the driver to transfer between a wheelchair and car seat.

Developed in collaboration with French company Pimas, an expert at adapting vehicles for disabled people, the “Ami for All” incorporates several accessibility features. A wide-angled hinge on the passenger side enables the door to open wider, making it easier to get into the car from the pavement and safer for roadside parking. A strapping system helps users enter the vehicle and move into the driver’s seat.

Onboard, a simple push-pull lever lets the driver manually control the accelerator and brake with their hands, and a central knob on the steering wheel provides better handling when turning. Meanwhile, straps and a luggage rack allow users to store their (non-motorised, foldable) wheelchairs either in the passenger-side footwell or (if a second person is sitting there) on the rear, outside of the car.

With an estimated 131.8 million people using a wheelchair (Wheelchair Foundation, 2016), Citroën’s “Ami for All” offers a blueprint for how the automotive sector can better serve this growing consumer base.

Citroën