Aug 2, 2009-- A new car developed by undergraduate students at Virginia Tech is so tricked-out with safety features that its blind operators probably won't be on the receiving end of many road-rage rants. The prototype is built on the bones of an ordinary dune buggy, using technology grafted from the university's entry in the "Urban Challenge" contest. "The semi-autonomous vehicle uses a laser range finder, voice software and other sensory technology, and it worked flawlessly when blind drivers took the wheel on a closed course," writes Wired blogger Ben Mack. According to the article, the project began in 2004 as a challenge from the Jermigan Institute, which is affiliated with the National Federation of the Blind. Virginia Tech was the only organization to accept the challenge and received a modest $3,000 grant to build the blind-friendly car. (2125 reads)
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