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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  • by doris on Aug 6, 2009 at 06:38 AM
    well i have "seen" it all now. . .heck, we let drunks, drug addicts, crazy teens, crazy people all drive so why not let the blind ones too?
  • by RM Location: Plymouth on Aug 4, 2009 at 08:01 AM
    What a wonderful, once in a lifetime experience! That is how it should be looked at.
  • by B Location: G-Vegas on Aug 3, 2009 at 12:29 PM
    All the way to the scene of the crash!!!!
  • by B Location: G-Vegas on Aug 3, 2009 at 12:29 PM
    Where are they going?
  • by John Location: Greenville on Aug 3, 2009 at 08:24 AM
    You all need to ease up. It's just a project for college and it's a creative idea. That's all it is, you won't be seeing this on the road.
  • by Bill Location: Jamesville on Aug 3, 2009 at 05:52 AM
    Next on the agends, Brain Surgerey
  • by Ted Location: Greenville on Aug 2, 2009 at 03:11 PM
    The difference is a blind person is just that, blind. Given the choice I think I would prefer a driver who is using a cell phone to one that can't see!
  • by UNBELEIVABLE Location: AYDEN on Aug 2, 2009 at 01:43 PM
    WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BLIND PERSON BEHIND THE WHEEL OF AN AUTOMOBILE AND A DRIVING WHO IS TEXTING/TALKING ON THE CELL PHONE? GIVE US A BREAK.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 2, 2009 at 11:48 AM
    I think they were testing it on Greenville Blvd this morning.
  • by ace Location: plymouth on Aug 2, 2009 at 11:44 AM
    There are some things that sould not be done.
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