We have developed an intelligent single switch scanning interface and wheelchair navigation assistance system, called intelligent single switch wheelchair navigation (ISSWN), to improve driving safety, comfort and efficiency for individuals who rely on single switch scanning as a control method. ISSWN combines a standard powered wheelchair with a laser rangefinder, a single switch scanning interface and a computer. It provides the user with context sensitive and task specific scanning options that reduce driving effort based on an interpretation of sensor data together with user input. Trials performed by 9 able-bodied participants showed that the system significantly improved driving safety and efficiency in a navigation task by significantly reducing the number of switch presses to 43.5% of traditional single switch wheelchair navigation (p < 0.001). All participants made a significant improvement (39.1%; p < 0.001) in completion time after only two trials. Implications for Rehabilitation Intelligent navigation algorithm helps investigators develop smart wheelchair technology that may ultimately provide independent mobility to a segment of the population that currently finds it difficult or impossible to operate a conventional wheelchair. intelligent single switch wheelchair navigation improves the driving safety, comfort, and efficiency for individuals who rely on single switch scanning as a wheelchair control method by significantly reducing the number of switch presses and completion time.