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Mazda starts accepting reservations for hand-controlled car

This supplied photo shows Mazda Motor Corp.'s MX-30 Self-empowerment Driving Vehicle that can be driven using hands only. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Mazda Motor Corp. on Thursday began accepting reservations for purchase of a modified SUV that can be controlled solely with the use of hands by drivers who are physically disabled.

    The MX-30 Self-empowerment Driving Vehicle, a modified version of the MX-30 SUV that is set to be released in January, is equipped with a lever on the left side of the driver that can be depressed by hand to act as a break and a ring on the steering wheel that can function as an accelerator.

    The car can also be driven using pedals by able-bodied users.

    It also includes a board that wheelchair users can sit on in the process of moving into the driver's seat.

    The additional equipment costs 528,000 yen ($4,640) on top of the cost of the original MX-30 model. Mazda is considering developing disabled-friendly equipment for other models as well.

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