Students Build a Car the Blind Can Drive



Engineering students at Virginia Tech have built a car that can be driven by the visually impaired. The vehicle is equipped with laser range finders and a semi-autonomous computer that helps direct drivers around a course that they can't see:

The steering wheel is hooked up to a distance monitor that gathers information from laser range finders, and it uses voice software to tells the driver how far to turn the wheel. For example, the monitor will tell the driver “turn left three clicks.” As the driver does that, the monitor makes three clicking noises.

A vibrating vest provides cues to follow when accelerating and decelerating. The vest vibrates in different places — the back, the belly and the shoulders — to convey different commands. When the entire vest vibrates, it means, “Slam on the brakes!”


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Hi, I am a mom of 2 and who is visually impaired, my dad to day life is very difficult as it is. I think this is absolutely amazing! There are many visually impaired individuals out there including myself who can't wait for this technology to be available to the public. I have read alot of negativity regarding the subject and of course all of which must no doubt come from naive people who obviously have good/better vision that those deemed impaired. I think as a society we should come together and support such projects. Yes, there are bugs to deal with like any other invention, but I believe the end result will reap more good than bad. I myself, am not completely bind, but don't have enough visibilty to drive and therefore something like this would be great for me. Imagine the possibilities. Keep up the great work guys!
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As much as I support diasbled-friendly things, the last thing we need is blind drivers... god help us if this becomes more than a school project...
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