April is Autism Acceptance Month, and Chrysler is introducing a new Calm Cabin package for its Pacifica minvans, to help those with autism feel calm, safe and comfortable.
The new interiors are in partnership with the Autism Society of America, and on display at the New York International Auto Show, which opens to the public on Friday, April 7.
Note – ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter is a credentialed automotive journalist and President of the International Motor Press Association, and attending media previews on Wednesday and Thursday.
The new Calm Cabin autism-friendly interiors in the 2023 Pacifica and Pacifica plug-in hybrid (PHEV) include:
- Seat-back organizer with adjustable straps, five front pockets, interior clear pocket that holds a tablet computer and a black mesh pocket
- Rechargeable, cordless Bluetooth meditative light and sound therapy machine that fits in the center pocket of the seat-back organizer with five LED color modes, four light therapy modes, breathing coach and 15 sound therapy modes
- Comforting seat belt sleeve with soft-touch velvet feel
- Comforting soft-touch travel pillow
- Comforting, seven-layer, 12-pound weighted sensory blanket
The Calm Cabin package available through Chrysler’s online merchandise retail store, collection.chrysler.com, in late spring. Items also are available for purchase individually.
The goal is to make travel more comfortable for all through thoughtful design, support accommodations, educational resources and local community engagement.
Additionally, Chrysler will work with the Autism Society to identify additional areas where brand can support and affect change in autism community, including by creating a personalized dealership customer experience for people with autism and their loved ones.
Chrysler also is providing a courtesy one-year loan of three 2023 Chrysler Pacifica Pinnacle vehicles for use by the Autism Society.
- For more information on the Autism Society, and the fifth annual Celebrate Differences campaign, visit autismsociety.org
“At Chrysler, we believe it’s no longer enough to be ‘aware’ of the millions of people living and thriving with autism, we must put acceptance into action,” said Chris Feuell, Chrysler brand chief executive officer – Stellantis. “We’re proud to offer life-enriching opportunities for individuals with autism and their families with initiatives, such as our new Calm Cabin package, that bring a little harmony to people’s lives, whether they are on a long road trip or running a quick errand.”
The Autism Society will help advise the development of Chrysler products and assist with organization-wide inclusion training to build better experiences for the autism community interacting with dealers across the country.
“The Autism Society of America is proud to partner with Chrysler to create an improved and inclusive driving experience for the autism community,” said Christopher Banks, president and CEO of the Autism Society of America. “With a trusted partner like Chrysler, our work is amplified as we collaborate to instill inclusive workplace practices, product accommodations and create more opportunities for the autism community to live fully.”Autism and Autos
Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the United States, with one in 36 children receiving a diagnosis, according to the newly released report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In addition to the 5.8 million autistic adults in the U.S., autism likely touches a vast majority of Americans either through relationships or direct experience, and the support needs across the autism spectrum are vastly different.
One of the spaces requiring the most support is on the road. Vehicles can be stressful, scary experiences for those with autism due to an environment that can be overstimulating and uncomfortable. For some, it means every road trip to school, practice, work or on daily errands becomes a difficult, challenging experience.
Autism Society of America
The Autism Society’s mission is to create connections, empowering everyone in the Autism community with the resources needed to live fully. As the nation’s oldest leading grassroots Autism organization, the Autism Society and its approximately 70+ local affiliates serve over half a million members of the Autism community each year. It envisions a world where everyone in the Autism community is connected to the support they need, when they need it – including education, advocacy efforts, and supports and services throughout the lifespan. During Autism Acceptance Month, the Autism Society has a goal to fundraise $350,000 to expand acceptance in practice for the Autism community.
The Chrysler brand has delighted customers with distinctive designs, craftsmanship, advanced innovation and technology since the company was founded in 1925. The Chrysler Pacifica continues to reinvent the minivan, a segment Chrysler invented nearly 40 years ago. Pacifica delivers an unprecedented level of functionality, versatility, technology and bold styling along with the most standard safety features in the industry and most advanced available all-wheel-drive system in its class. The available innovative plug-in hybrid powertrain takes this revolutionary vehicle a step further. It’s the first electrified vehicle in the minivan segment and achieves more than 80 MPGe in electric-only mode, has an all-electric range of more than 30 miles and a total range of more than 500 miles.
Chrysler Pacifica is also the most awarded minivan over the last six years with more than 170 honors and industry accolades since its introduction as a minivan. The Chrysler 300 lineup delivers on the brand’s promise of accessible luxury, with iconic and elegant design, world-class performance, efficiency and quality. Chrysler is part of the portfolio of brands offered by leading global automaker and mobility provider Stellantis. For more information regarding Stellantis (NYSE: STLA), please visit www.stellantis.com.