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Driving Blind

Yvonne Carts-Powell

Robotics researchers at Virginia Tech are developing optical technologies that will allow blind people to drive.

Scatterings imagePatrick Johnson, a legally blind graduate student at Virginia Tech, test-drives the university’s Blind Driver Challenge vehicle. In the passenger seat is Greg Jannaman, who led the design team.

Amazing as it sounds, robotics researchers at Virginia Tech are developing optical technologies that will allow blind people to drive. Perhaps this shouldn’t be such a surprise, given current cars that automatically parallel park or warn a driver about veering out of a marked lane. The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), for example, has run several challenges that require vehicles to navigate unaided by a driver.

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Publish Date: 01 November 2009


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