Should all cars be easy to operate
Where should the horn on a 2013 Chevy Equinox be? Should it be easy for most people to enter and exit the vehicle, or can Chevy just make it easy for fit people? Should all navigation systems have similar menus? The answer to these questions is not so obvious. The topic is called universal design and Chevy recently brought the topic to the forefront in a press release using its Equinox as an example.
In the information released by Chevy, the examples of universal design and ease of use design include a simple to step over sill (once called a rocker panel) under the door. If that sill requires a step over some drivers with limited mobility would have a hard time entering and exiting. Careful, thoughtful design can eliminate the issue. To the contrary, some vehicles are purpose built. For example the Lotus Elise is a track car thinly disguised as a road car. When one first opens the Elise door the sill to step over is the size of a carry-on bag. Entering requires dexterity, flexibility, bravado, and faith. However, that thick sill is actually a part of the vehicle's box frame and it gives the car such rigidity it impacts the car’s cornering in amazing ways. The Chevy Equinox is a general purpose vehicle so ease of entry matters a lot.