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This new foldable wheelchair offers empowered transit

The lightweight Model Fi is easy for travel.

A person uses a Whill wheelchair to travel alongside a walking companion. Credit: Whill

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There are an estimated 3.3 million wheelchair users in the United States. Wheelchairs open up paths to the disabled that for much of human history would have been off limits. So as freedom-giving as wheelchairs can be, and as prevalent as they are, it’s surprisingly easy to find sidewalks, hallways, and retail stores that cannot accommodate the maneuvering of a wheelchair.

A person uses a wheelchair to travel on the sidewalk.
Credit: Whill

The Model Fi will be available in spring 2022.

Luckily, technology is making what was previously inaccessible more inclusive. At CES 2022, we got a close up look at the Whill Model Fi personal electric vehicle, which is a fitting name as it’s so much more than a power wheelchair. Its decidedly futuristic design is slim enough at 21.9 inches to fit in the narrowest of spaces, and the width between armrests can be adjusted to either 16 or 28 inches. It’s lightweight and foldable, and it can even be driven and locked remotely with an app.

While some of these features may sound like bells and whistles, the extra tech on board can take a lot of the hassle out of travel especially. People with disabilities shouldn’t be shut up in the house because their wheelchair is too awkward to load onto the bus or into the trunk of an Uber. A wheelchair’s portability is a big deal.

A person rides a train with their wheelchair folded on the side.
Credit: Whill

The foldable Model Fi makes it easy for transit.

The Whill Model Fi won a Best of Innovation award at CES, and it’s easy to see why. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill, medical-looking chair. It’s a lifestyle choice, and a very cool-looking one at that.

The Model Fi will be available for public purchase in the spring of 2022 for $2,899.

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