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20 Blind People Test Drive Student-Designed Car

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Several blind people were able to get behind the wheel of a new high-tech vehicle designed by Virginia Tech engineering students.

Twenty blind people took turns maneuvering the retrofitted dune buggy Friday in a parking lot at the University of Maryland.

The test drive capped a National Federation for the Blind summer camp for 200 blind youth from across the country.

Virginia Tech was the only university to take on a 2004 challenge from the federation to build a vehicle that could let blind people drive.

The buggy they designed uses a laser sensor to figure out the road ahead.

A special vibrating vest worn by drivers communicates speed and warns when to stop. And a headset relays voice commands signaling which way to turn.


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