The National Federation of the Blind's initiative to develop nonvisual interface technologies that will convey real-time information allowing a blind person to safely and independently drive a car. Helping the Federation realize this dream are the Virginia Tech College of Engineering and TORC Technologies.
From a report by RoboNexus, Ellen Cotton writes, "TORC's modified Ford Escape is packed with non-visual interface devices technologies designed by VA Tech Engineering students to allow blind drivers to operate the vehicle, which it did on Jan. 29, 2011, at Daytona International Speedway as part of the ongoing Blind Driver Challenge. Technologies in the vehicle include the ByWire XGV mentioned above. It also includes gloves called DriveGrips and a seat cushion called SpeedStrip, which vibrate to give the driver certain cues that indicate directions to accelerate or halt, turn right or left. The vehicles can “see” obstacles and the road ahead through strategically placed laser range finders and cameras."