Legally blind man takes to wheel of self-driving car

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Legally blind man takes to wheel of self-driving car

Unread postby ኦሽንoc » 30 Mar 2012 13:39

A legally-blind man from California has become the first visually-challenged person to take to the wheel of a self-driving car on public roads.

Steve Mahan 'drove' along a carefully-planned route on his first solo car trip since turning losing 95 per cent of his sight,
stopping in at a Taco Bell restaurant and picking up his dry cleaning during the short journey in the specially adapted Toyota Prius.
As he set off for his drive in the preprogrammed car, designed by Google, Mr Mahan said: "Look ma – no hands. No hands, no feet."

Afterwards, he added: "Where this would change my life is to give me the independence and the flexibility to go to the places I both want to go and need to go when I need to do those things."

The vehicle comes with a heavy pricetag, with one key piece of equipment – a laser-range finder which maps out surroundings and responds to GPS signals – alone costing $70,000 (£44,000).

Google posted a video of Mr Mahan's journey on its Google+ account, saying it showed the possibilities self-driving cars offered to the blind and other people with disabilities.


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