The Autonomy Programme at the 2011 Bologna Motor Show







Published by Gerald Ferreira Date: November 23, 2011
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At the 2011 Bologna Motor Show, Fiat Group Automobiles will have a stand devoted to the Autonomy Programme, the initiative launched by the company in 1995 to create services and means of individual and collective transport for those with reduced motor skills, as ever in line with the continual presence of new products, and to encourage disabled people to become familiar with the car.

Fiat Nuova Panda

The cars on show are the best demonstration of our commitment in this area: a new Fiat Panda, a new Lancia Ypsilon and the first Fiat Doblò with a lowered floor. These models have captured the interest of the public and the international press since they were launched, and they have been fitted with special devices manufactured by four companies (KIVI, Handytech, Focaccia and Guidosimplex) that work with Fiat Group Automobiles in the field of special equipment for assisted mobility.

The stand's main attraction is the new Fiat Panda with Dualogic robotised gearbox: the latest version of a car known over its 31 years on the road as being likeable, versatile and easy to use.

The Fiat Panda comes of age in this third generation, offering more quality in terms of space, comfort, functionality, technology and safety features, and combining the best features of the first- and second-generation cars. This intelligent vehicle is ideal for those wanting to combine the practical handling of a city car with the space and comfort of a five-door compact car.

Handytech has fitted the Fiat Panda on show in Bologna with an electronic accelerator ring under the steering wheel and a vertical long-armed brake lever with brake lock and horn. Visitors to the show will also appreciate the electric roto-translation door that allows the left rear door to slide open, making it easier to load a wheelchair (weighing up to 30 kg) by using an automatic robot that lifts the chair, folds it and puts it inside the car.

The spotlight is also on the Fiat Doblò WAV (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle), which was developed by Focaccia and endorsed at a European level as the first Doblò to provide access to wheelchair users via a lowered floor.

The Fiat-certified transformation lowers the floor to increase the interior height of the vehicle to 1,400 mm and provides access for wheelchair users via a rear ramp which can take up to 300 kg, aided by a special integrated winch.  The upholstery gives the car the same elegant feel as a standard model and the interior is spacious enough for four people in addition to the disabled person.

The Fiat Doblò WAV is also fitted with the new Ghost accelerator from Guidosimplex, an innovative acceleration system located just behind the steering wheel. This device, which is the result of years of experience, is designed to be almost invisible. It turns clockwise and anti-clockwise, allowing the driver to accelerate while keeping their hands on the steering wheel and adapting to different driving conditions.

The show also features the new Lancia Ypsilon by KIVI, complete with accelerator ring underneath the steering wheel, brake lever, electronic roto-translation left rear door and flexible-arm winch attached to the top of the pillar, allowing a wheelchair to be loaded manually behind the driver's seat. With its revolutionary two-cylinder 85 HP 0.9 TwinAir engine and DFN semi-automatic gearbox, the model on show in Bologna has all the elegance of the 'fashion city car for everyone'. Just 3.84 metres long, it has the very best of Italian style, innovation and respect for the environment, and for the first time it is available as a five-door to offer more comfort to those who love Lancia's unique style, charm and technological excellence.

Lastly, in order to focus the attention of a large, young audience like the one at the Bologna Motor Show, the writer Andrea Casillo will be at the stand, and the B-Free Multifunction wheelchair and the TOMPOMA crutches will be on display. The former is a design classic manufactured by the company 'Able to enjoy'. Just by replacing some of the parts, it is able to deal with more different situations (snow, off-road and sport) as well as offer freedom of expression in the form of numerous colours, materials and accessories. The  TOMPOMA crutches offer the same level of independence. Futuristic titanium and the best aluminium alloys make them strong but light, and their innovative shape provides many benefits.