MADRID, Spain – Ford of Spain has joined forces with DKV Insurance Company to provide Europe’s first armless driver with a specially adapted C-MAX.
David Rivas, who became the first European born without arms to pass a driving test in July 2010, is now the proud owner of a C-MAX 2.0 TDCi Titanum Powershift which he steers using his feet.
“It’s a dream come true being able to move in an absolutely autonomous manner with no need to depend on third persons,” said the 33 year-old. “Since I was a kid I’ve dreamt of driving and being independent and I have finally achieved it.”
Up until this week, David, who works as a coordinator at Integralia Foundation’s call centre in Madrid, had to catch a train each day to go to work. Thanks to his new Ford, he’s moved a step forward in leaving behind the boundaries of his disability in everyday life.
The C-MAX donated by Ford features four devices in the pedal area that can be activated with both feet. A joystick serves as steering wheel, the automatic gearbox is activated with his right foot toes and a pedal used with his left foot applies the accelerator and brakes. Another device controls lights, horn and windscreen wipers.
Ford of Spain’s President and CEO José Manuel Machado explained: “We at Ford have been actively collaborating with disabled persons for more than a decade, and we really wanted to do something about David’s outstanding desire to overcome making his mobility possible. His personal story of tenacity and courage inspires us to further collaborate with disabled people with him and our dealers. We also have a great advantage in our latest technologies, that make both driving and vehicle adaptation so much easier for disabled people”.
DKV Insurances President, Javier Vega de Seoane said: “David Rivas is the perfect example of the capability of hard work and self-improvement both in life and at work that you can find at Integralia Foundation. For us it’s a true pleasure to be by his side each time he overcomes a new challenge and, like in this case, to take part in its fulfilment if we can”.