Saturday, February 05, 2011

Researchers Work To Develop A Vehicle That Can Be Driven By The Blind

Last Saturday, a blind driver dodged cardboard boxes thrown in front of him while driving a modified Ford Hybrid Escape around the Daytona International Speedway. He had only seconds to react to the obstacles.

"If we just put boxes on the track, people might think we planned the route," said Dennis Hong, whose robotics and mechanisms lab at Virginia Tech modified the cars.

Instead, Hong's team threw boxes from a van so they bounced around. “That shows everyone that their position is random, and that the drivers are really driving,” said Hong.

In addition to avoiding boxes and taking the raceway's turns, the driver, Mark Riccobono, also passed the van.

Fortunately, Riccobono and a second blind driver, Anil Lewis, had done it before. Read more - Researchers work to develop a vehicle that can be driven by the blind