MINI Cooper SE is Now Drivable For People With Disabilities

Minivans are the most common type of vehicle modified for people with disabilities. BraunAbility, a specialist in wheelchair-accessible car conversions, also offers some SUV options, although the vast majority of its products are geared towards van conversions. MINI BraunAbility’s Cooper SE shows how even a small hatchback can be adapted for people with disabilities.

An accelerator ring has been built into the steering wheel of the standard model of the vehicle. What is this all about? The accelerator pedal is operated by the driver by applying pressure with his hand. The handbrake is located on the right side of the steering wheel, directly under the steering wheel. MINI has fitted the accelerator and brake pedals with pedal covers so that they cannot be operated accidentally.

In Maisach, near Munich, Germany, there is a driving safety school for those who want to improve their skills. Tina Schmidt-Kiendl is not only one of the driving instructors; she is also a wheelchair user herself. When it came to designing Cooper’s special assistance systems SE, she was instrumental. People with impairments can choose from a wide range of driving and operating aids, the one that suits them best. The accelerator ring can be switched off with a switch and removed from the vehicle if necessary.

Some of you may remember a story from earlier this year about a BMW M4 Competition G82 owner who took a different approach. In the sports coupe, the two pedals were replaced by a hand-operated bar on the driver’s left side. To accelerate, the driver pushed the rod down; to brake, he pushed it forward.

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