The first road-legal car that can be driven safely by the blind is being developed in America.
A group of American scientists has teamed up with the National Federation of the Blind to develop a prototype based on the Ford Escape.
Information about the road surface, obstacles and current speed is transmitted via a vibrating vest and a tactile map interface, using compressed air to alert the driver to potential hazards. An array of sensors and lasers are used to identify the road ahead and relay information accordingly.
The car also speaks to the driver directly, indicating the car’s direction.
The first test drive will take place in Florida in January and the team is keen to put the car into production later in 2011.