While cargo mats are typically used to keep the back of your car clean, Ford has turned them into a tool to make life a whole lot easier for drivers with mobility disabilities.
Ford, along with its former global creative agency GTB, found that of the 46 million people in Brazil with disabilities, 7% have limited mobility. Their difficulties are exacerbated by the fact that many of country’s sidewalks and streets lack access ramps.
So with GTB and Code Studio, the brand created an “Accessibility Mat.” They redesigned the trunk liner of the Ecosport compact SUV into a portable ramp that those in wheelchairs can use when the need arises. It’s made of lightweight material and when not in use, it fits easily onto the back of the wheelchair.
The mat, currently in prototype stage, also lays the groundwork for a long-term solution. It’s outfitted with bluetooth technology that connects with an app on the user’s phone. That data then goes to local officials to inform them where there’s a pressing need for accessibility options as well as to other mat users, in order to give them a heads up on where mobility obstacles will arise.
The Accessibility Mat is just the latest in consumer safety devices GTB Brazil has created for the brand. Previously, the agency developed a trucker hat that keeps truck drivers from falling asleep at the wheel.