Good to see I'm not the only one who thinks so. lol.

At 09:20 AM 30/01/2011, you wrote:
I'm sure it is.
We are the Knights who saaaaay...Ni!
----- Original Message ----- From: "Clement Chou" <chou.clem...@gmail.com>
To: "Gamers Discussion list" <gamers@audyssey.org>
Sent: Sunday, January 30, 2011 10:17 AM
Subject: Re: [Audyssey] driving blind


Agreed. A race track is a race track, the road is a completely different story... but isn't this a bit off-topic?

At 09:09 AM 30/01/2011, you wrote:
I'm not even convinced it'd be safe to share the road with blind drivers and I've been blind my whole life. Heck, a disturbing number of suppoedly sighted drivers may as well be blind. So I'm not convinced this is feasible from a safety standpoint. And I don't even want to speculate how much one of these cars would cost.
We are the Knights who saaaaay...Ni!
----- Original Message ----- From: "Charles Rivard" <woofer...@sbcglobal.net>
To: "audyssey gamers list" <gamers@audyssey.org>
Sent: Sunday, January 30, 2011 10:00 AM
Subject: [Audyssey] driving blind




Here's an article from the Daytona Beach News journal!


Technology helps blind driver lead lap - Racing
a.. Sunday, January 30, 2011

No driver racing in the Rolex 24 At Daytona could have elicited louder
screams from one group of fans than Mark Riccobono.

Unknown to thousands of race fans pouring into the Speedway on Saturday
morning, Riccobono became a hero to 400 members of the National Federation
of the Blind. They were there from all over the country for one reason
only -- to witness Riccobono become the first blind driver to take the wheel

in a solo trip on the track.

Several federation members compared his demonstration to the first United
States space flight in 1961.

"He's our Alan Shepard," said GaryWunder, editor of the Braille Monitor, the

federation magazine. "We've been looking forward to this for a long time."

For the blind, driving a car represents freedom and independence, things
other drivers often take for granted.

The federation challenged the nation's universities to take the challenge of

developing non-visual technology that would allow a blind person to drive
independently. One team accepted, a group of students at Virginia Tech,
working under the direction of Dennis Hong, director of the Robotics and
Mechanisms Laboratory. The equipment was placed in a Ford Escape Hybrid.

Riccobono directs technology, research and education for the Federation's
Jernigan Institute in Baltimore.

To get behind the wheel, he put on gloves that send vibrating signals along
his fingers to tell him when to turn and sat on a cushion that vibrated
along his legs to tell him when to brake or accelerate. He drove the inside
horseshoe on the track and in a tactical demonstration, dodged several boxes

thrown in front of his vehicle and passed a van.

The long-term implications of the technology were simply mind-boggling for
many cheering in the bleachers.

"This means a lot more to us than just the driving," Wunder said. "If we can

get all the information that's necessary to drive, what other things will we

be able to do?"

"It's incredible," said Randy Phifer, of Overland Park, Kansas, a federation

member listening to the play-by-play over the infield speakers. "I told my
fellow parishioners at home that I'd be back to pick them up," Phifer joked.

For college student Mika Baugh of Indiana, it was "pretty neat."

Owning and driving her own car would mean she "wouldn't have to wait for the

bus in the freezing cold.

"You can't even imagine what blind and sighted people will be able to do
with this technology someday," she said.

Sabrina Deaton, president of the Daytona Beach chapter of the federation,
lost her ability to drive almost 11 years ago, a victim of macular
degeneration.

Driving was "one of the most difficult things to give up," she said. "It was

giving up my independence."

The ability to drive opens up opportunities for education and employment,
she said. "And, just to be able to hop into the car and take a Sunday
drive."

If the research pace continues, Riccobono said the technology could be
available for general use in just five years. Federation officials said they

couldn't estimate how much the technology would cost.

Riccobono said other challenges remain, especially convincing sighted
drivers that it would be safe to share the road with blind drivers.

 0Share31Email5
Copyright C 2011 The Daytona Beach News-Journal
Sherri Brun, NFBF Secretary and NewslineR Coordinator
Vice-president NFB Greater Orlando Chapter
E-mail: flmom2...@gmail.com
www.nfbnewsline.org
http://www.nfbflorida.org
http://nfbfgoc.org


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