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Chrysler and BraunAbility Unveil Wheelchair-Accessible Pacifica at the Chicago Auto Show

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Cheryl Angelelli and Wallis Brozman, along with her service companion Mork, during the Chicago Auto Show

Cheryl Angelelli and Wallis Brozman, along with her service companion Mork, during the Chicago Auto Show

When Chrysler set out to design its latest minivan model, the Chrysler Pacifica, it wanted to create a vehicle that met the needs of every kind of driver. With its long list of available features and technologies, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is indeed quite the versatile vehicle. However, in the automotive world, one group that is often overlooked when designing vehicles is drivers with disabilities. Chrysler’s major announcement from the 2017 Chicago Auto Show demonstrated a desire to meet the needs of these drivers as well.

Chrysler and BraunAbility unveiled a wheelchair-accessible Chrysler Pacifica at the Chicago Auto Show.

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In order to design a minivan with disabled drivers in mind, Chrysler truned to BraunAbility, the leading manufacturer of wheelchair accessible vehicles. Together, the two organizations worked to create a wheelchair-accessible version of the Pacifica that included more interior space and all of the major features equipped to the standard model of the Chrysler Pacifica.

The result of their collaboration is the most spacious wheelchair-accessible vehicle in the automotive industry. In order to create more ease of access to the vehicle, the new BraunAbility Chrysler Pacifica model includes the widest side-entry ramp in the industry, as well as an aerospace-inspired sliding door, which extends to allow a larger opening into the vehicle.

Nevertheless, the wheelchair-accessible Chrysler Pacifica includes many of the same interior features as its base model, including a built-in vacuum system.

The BraunAbility Chrysler Pacifica

The BraunAbility Chrysler Pacifica

“For over 45 years, BraunAbility and Chrysler have worked together to empower people with physical disabilities, including our founder Ralph Braun, to stay connected to what matters in their lives,” stated Nick Gutwein, President and CEO of BraunAbility. “The need for quality mobility solutions is only going to grow, and we are thrilled to align with Chrysler to launch the innovative and uncompromising BraunAbility Chrysler Pacifica.”

During the Chicago Auto Show, Cheryl Angelelli, director of marking and public relations for the DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, helped to introduce the BraunAbility Chrysler Pacifica model, discussing the features added to aid drivers with disabilities.

A closer look at the design of the BraunAbility Chrysler Pacifica

A closer look at the design for the BraunAbility Chrysler Pacifica

Joining Angelelli was Wallis Brozman, corporate marketing assistant of Canine Companions for Independence. Canine Companions is an organization which provides assistance dogs to adults and veterans with disabilities free of charge. Both Chrysler and BraunAbility partnered with Canine Companions to promote the “Give a Dog a Job Program,” which benefits the service organization.

Brozman, along with here service dog companion Mork, demonstrated the features equipped to the custom-designed Chrysler Pacifica. During the demonstration, Brozman even showcased how Mork could utilize the vacuum system inside the Pacifica.

Four-legged representatives from Canine Companions

Four-legged representatives from Canine Companions

Chrysler and Canine Companions compiled a video which showcases the features of the wheelchair-accessible vehicle. That video can be viewed below:

With the introduction of the wheelchair-accessible Chrysler Pacifica, there are now a total of 25 vehicles in the FCA US Automobility program, which helps connect drivers with adaptive vehicles that can suit their needs.

“The all-new Chrysler Pacifica is proving to be a lot of things to a lot of people, and now equipped with the BraunAbility technology, it is also the perfect tool to help our customers gain freedom to stay active in their everyday lives,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Cars, Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA North America.

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In case you may have been wondering, Brozman confirmed during the presentation that Mork does indeed have a sister named Mindy.