Sunday, April 1, 2012

Self-Driving Car Tested With Blind Driver

Google started a project in 2010 to make driving safer, efficient, and more accessible to everybody.  This project has led to a number of working prototypes that have been developed and tested.  More info after the jump.

Having safely completed over 200,000 miles driving without any human intervention, this project is evolving to the point where its applications for an autonomous vehicle can be demonstrated.  Steve Mahan is one of the people that Google has used to demonstrate one of the uses for this vehicle.  As you can see in the clip above, you can see Mahan take a trip in this vehicle to get some lunch and run a few errands.  What makes Steve so special?  He's lost 95% of his vision and is unable to drive a car.

Autonomous vehicles such as the ones Google has develop can have a variety of applications beyond what has been demonstrated in this clip.  Imagine the number of people with disabilities who are currently unable to drive:  by utilizing this technology, this can open the world to millions of people and help them regain a sense of independence.  As Mahan said, "This will allow me to go to places I need to go and want to go when I need to go."  Enjoy the clip.

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