In this week’s edition of Discovered Technologies we present you with a car that was developed to allow people who are blind to drive.
The car is not the kind that drives itself and simply allows a person who is blind to ride inside. It is the kind that provides the driver with the necessary information to drive safely. The car uses a sensor to measure acceleration, cameras to detect the lanes of the road, and laser range finders to check for sudden obstacles on the road. The drivers are fitted with special gloves with vibrating elements that notify the driver when to turn. The car also uses a massage chair that conveys information to the driver about the vehicle’s speed and how best to use the gas and brake pedal.
Whereas the cars for people who are blind project has received a great deal of mail with expressed concerns of safety from both people who are blind and people who are sighted, the creators have declared that the vehicle would not be available to the public until it was tried and tested to be 100% safe. The developers also claim that the purpose of this project is not to commercialize vehicles but rather to develop technology that can assist people who are visually impaired or blind, in this or other areas of their lives.
This interesting TED talk video fully explains this innovative project.