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New Car Could Let The Blind Drive

Using advanced sensors to “see” the road, modified Ford to lead into Rolex 24 race next January.

by on Jul.02, 2010

Blind driver Brian Buhrow tries out DriveGrip.

While there have been plenty of advances when it comes to enabling the blind to participate in daily life, they’re still at a severe disadvantage in a society so heavily dependent on personal transportation.

But even that obstacle soon could be overcome, suggests the National Federation of the Blind, which is developing a high-tech version of the Ford Escape designed to allow the blind to drive.

Developed in cooperation with Virginia Tech, the vehicle will make its running debut on January 29, 2011 during the “Blind Driver Challenge,” an on-track event that will lead into the annual Rolex 24 endurance race at Florida’s Daytona International Speedway.

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“I’m not prepared to say when a vehicle like this will be in a dealership where you could walk in and buy one, but with a little imagination, I’m convinced that day will come,” says Federation board member Tarnell Diggs.