"For me, mobility means independence and equality - the traffic rules apply to everyone - but also peace and relaxation. I can be where I am for as long as I want without a transport service picking me up or waiting for me," says Udo Holdenried. "Now I'm a human being, not a transportation freight."
It's not yet really "tangible" for Udo that he will soon be able to drive his own car to university. "The feeling is still a bit unreal, not quite tangible for me yet," says the 29-year-old law student. "Because so far I associate the feeling of driving with Aichelau and PARAVAN and not yet with my own freedom. When the car is at the front door, I'll realize I don't have to give it up anymore." More than six years ago, Udo got his driver's license at the request of his parents, partly to give his mother, who has cancer, the opportunity to share in the experience, to show, "Yes, it's possible!"
Now, six years later, he is sitting in his converted VW T6.1 from PARAVAN. "Priorities were different for a long time, but now was the time for me to say, yes I'm tackling the issue of owning a car!" In order to be able to study effectively and independently, and also to do research in the library at leisure, he needed to be independently mobile. "With a bit of a struggle, we then also found a payer," he reports.
Udo has brittle bone disease. So that he can move his vehicle safely in road traffic - without injuring himself - some conversions were necessary: He operates the gas, brake and steering via the Space Drive driving and steering system using two joysticks. He steers with the right and operates the gas and brake with the left. Using a cassette lift, Udo drives his individually adapted PARAVAN PR 50 wheelchair up to the driver's seat, where it is securely anchored by a docking station. In addition, a backrest is attached to the wheelchair for better support.
Now everything works in the car in such a way that Udo can be on the road completely independently and without outside help. "The sliding door opens electrically, and the cassette lift, which I use to get in, moves in and out again at the push of a button." There are quite a few different options: Wired connection, radio remote connection or by cell phone touch. He operates the secondary functions - such as lights, turn signals or horn - via voice control while driving, including the sun visor, which he would otherwise not be able to reach so easily.
"The car ended up being completely electrified and mechanized for me," he reports. "In the car, I have a docking station, which makes the wheelchair almost one with the vehicle. "At the end of the day, everything is self-sufficiently electric, that you can use this without any outside help, just like anyone else."