(PHYSORG)- Last Saturday, a blind driver dodged cardboard boxes thrown in front of him while driving a modified Ford Hybrid Escape around the Daytona International Speedway. He had only seconds to react to the obstacles.
"If we just put boxes on the track, people might think we planned the route," said Dennis Hong, whose robotics and mechanisms lab at Virginia Tech modified the cars.
Instead, Hong's team threw boxes from a van so they bounced around. “That shows everyone that their position is random, and that the drivers are really driving,” said Hong.
In addition to avoiding boxes and taking the raceway's turns, the driver, Mark Riccobono, also passed the van.
Fortunately, Riccobono and a second blind driver, Anil Lewis, had done it before.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Can the blind drive a car? (with video)
The National Federation of the Blind has a challenge for researchers to develop a car the blind can drive independently.