In the Works: Car for the Blind

Monday, July 05, 2010

Blind people and advocates for the blind liken it to walking on the moon: The National Federation of the Blind has joined forces with Virginia Tech to create a car that could be driven by passengers who do not have the use of their sight. The car, slated at this point for a 2011 release, uses hand sensors, speaking computer directives and other forms of cutting-edge technology to aid their visibility-challenged drivers.

Mark Riccobono, executive director of the National Federation of The Blind Jernigan Institute tells us about some of the new technologies that are being developed for the car - and how they may have a lasting impact on drivers without, and with, sight.

 

Guests:

Mark Riccobono

Comments [2]

Maurice Peret from Baltimore MD

The innovative collaboration between the National Federation of the Blind along with engineers at Virginia Tech to put a car on the road for blind drivers amounts to a Total Knock Out (TKO) in terms of shattering myths about the capacities of people who are blind, who have other disabilities, and by extension, about the infinite boundaries of human capacity, itself. Like most accessibility issues that arise in our society, there is practical mainstream benefit to the greater community, as a whole. The vehicle that a blind individual can drive safely will also significantly diminish traffic accidents for everyone on the roads. To raise the specter of liability on a separate standard for the blind or otherwise disabled is a long worn out discriminatory practice that has been satisfactorily put to rest by numerous court decisions in the realm of employment and equal access to public facilities. If blind people can climb the highest mountains on earth, serve admirably in all of the professions including medicine, and pilot an airplane, can it really be all that surprising to eventually yield to a blind driver merging onto the superhighway of equality, opportunity, and security?

While we're working on cleaner, greener, safer cars, let's not divert our sights on the sensible social investment in public transportation.

Jul. 15 2010 08:25 AM
innerjuju from Atlanta

Can't be any worse than every 17 y.o. in the country texting 1,000 words a minute while driving.

Jul. 05 2010 09:08 AM

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