Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Busy September for Blind Drive Challenge vehicles...

September has been a busy month for the Blind Challenge project with – as of this posting – a story just aired on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” and other stories planned from “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer,” ESPN for the halftime spot on 1 October, 2011, and a story by Bloomberg News TV. Below are links to stories by “The (Pittsburgh) Tribune” and from “Anderson Cooper 360.”

The attention, some nine months after the newest debut of the Blind Driver Challenge vehicle at the Daytona International Speedway track, shows the impact that the National Federation of the Blind’s initiative started. As the NFB stated at the launch of the project, “The ‘Challenge’ is not the development of an autonomous car that drives a blind person around, but to develop a non-visual interface for a car that can convey real-time information about driving conditions to the blind so that we can use our own capacity to think and react to interpret these data and maneuver a car safely.”

Here's the "Anderson Cooper 360" clip featuring CNN correspondent Tom Foreman behind the wheel of the Blind Driver Challenge vehicle and talking to RoMeLa Director Dennis Hong. (In the image above, Foreman is wearing the blindfold, facing camera.)

Video: The Connection: Blind Drivers

From “The (Pittsburgh) Tribune-Review”

Franklin Regional junior in 5-day science program for visually impaired youth
By Paul Paterra

Tommy Brown has been fascinated by cars and how they work since he was a toddler.
"When I was young, I loved to play with cars," said Brown, 16, of Murrysville. "For a while, I've been interested in the building aspect."

With that in mind, the visually impaired teenager is working toward his dream of becoming an engineer, taking another step when he enrolled in Youth Slam in the summer.

"Mentors for (Youth Slam) are blind, visually impaired," Brown said. "I talked to them to see what they do, how they do it and what equipment they use ... to help me do a similar job."

Youth Slam is a five-day STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — academy held every two years for 150 visually impaired teens from across the country with "successfully blind" adults serving as mentors. The program, held at Towson University in Maryland, is sponsored by the nonprofit National Federation of the Blind…

Read more…

Stay tuned for more coverage of the Blind Driver Challenge vehicle.