Monday, July 18, 2011

CNN presents TED Talk reports: 'Why we made a car for blind drivers'

Text by Dennis Hong, director of the Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory at Virginia Tech.

Blacksburg, Virginia (CNN) -- In our modern society, driving is really a necessity. It is a means of getting you to your destination wherever, whenever. Driving is also fun. Some people even consider it an expression of power. Most importantly, driving is really about freedom, about independence.

Sighted people, myself included, do it every day and take it for granted. Unfortunately, because of physical challenges, not everyone has the privilege to drive. My team of researchers wants to find a way to give the blind the ability to drive.

When we first announced that we were going to take up this challenge, many thought we were crazy, and most of the critics doubted that it could be done. Even some of my colleagues challenged us on the idea of developing a vehicle for the blind.


Image courtesy TED Talk

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