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Prototype Vehicle For the Blind

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the this-needs-a-playstation-analog-too dept.

Transportation 238

An anonymous reader writes "A student team from Virginia Tech Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory have created a vehicle which allows the blind to drive. The vehicle uses a laser range finder to determine distances and alerts the driver through voice commands and vibration. Tomorrow [Friday] morning, the vehicle will have its first public test drive at the University of Maryland. At last, Braille on drive-up ATMs may finally be vindicated."

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238 comments

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first to say (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28891811)

I didn't see this one coming.

but (4, Funny)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892077)

you can feel it from a mile away.

smoke and mirrors... (0, Redundant)

sofar (317980) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892123)

it takes ONE MIRROR to break this system.

good luck.

Re:smoke and mirrors... (2, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892287)

Do you have sources, or are you just making assumptions based on the fact it's using a laser. It seems to me with mirrors existing as part of any car on the road, they just /might/ have thought of this one.

Re:first to say (2, Funny)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892157)

> Braille on drive-up ATMs may finally be vindicated.

The above had me laughing quite a bit... ;-)

Re:first to say (1)

Deathlizard (115856) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892285)

Ford Did. [fordvehicles.com]

I wonder if the test vehicle is a Mustang...

Re:first to say (2, Insightful)

GarryFre (886347) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892461)

A dead battery and suddenly all is "Dark"! I liked that vindicated braille comment too. Considering the dubious quality of some folk's driving it could be a future historical irony for them to find that blind drivers in these cars are safer drivers than sighted drivers.

What, what? (4, Funny)

flydpnkrtn (114575) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891827)

Had to dust off the ol' "whatcouldpossiblygowrong" tag for this one...

Re:What, what? (5, Funny)

Anonymous CowHardon (1605679) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892111)

How are they going to know when I flip them the bird? Do I have to make chirping noises?

Re:What, what? (1)

unhooked (21010) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892487)

+1 DudeWhere'sMyCar

Re:What, what? (2, Funny)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892503)

I swear, officer, I didn't see him.

Hmm... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28891831)

Will be interesting to see how they vehicle interfaces with the traffic lights system... What could possibly go wrong?

Re:Hmm... (1)

Omniscient Lurker (1504701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891943)

Blind people always have the right of way ...

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28891973)

... even over other blind people?

Re:Hmm... (1)

Omniscient Lurker (1504701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892087)

Yes

Re:Hmm... (4, Insightful)

istartedi (132515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892341)

I think that'd be the easy part. A camera with Image processing for lane alignment and the same image every time. The lane alignment was actually my senior thesis--in 1993. It was just software, and I only tested it with one test set, so I have no idea how reliable it would have been. It was nowhere near real time either. I had no access to digital video. I had to rely on one test set, and I have no idea how they got the digitized frames. I imagine the reliability of the image processing has advanced; but I know the cost of digital capture devices has certainly come way down.

At present, I tend to share the "what could possibly go wrong" sentiment; but at some point in the future we may find automated systems to be more reliable than humans. Before we put it on cars though, we should get it working on trains. In theory, that's an easier problem; but we still have problems with automated trains.

I don't have data to back it up; but it seems like more train accidents are happening in manual mode now. In particular, an Amtrak accident last year (operator texting) and a recent San Francisco muni crash (operator had put train in manual). The last time I recall hearing about a train accident in automatic was on DC's metro system. It was during a snowstorm. IIRC, The operator was attempting to put the train in manual, but the system wouldn't allow it. [wikipedia.org] . It was out of service, and the operator was the only fatality. That was in 1996 though.

Re:Hmm... (5, Insightful)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892713)

I really do not understand the point. If one can make a feedback system capable of effectively and intelligently guiding a blind person it wouldn't be necessary... Just make the car capable of driving itself. A sighted person has a hard enough time interpreting and reacting to evolving situations around them. Responding to vibrations and voice alerts is most certainly slower.

Handicapped lanes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28891835)

First handicapped parking. What next? Handicapped lanes? What would be better in crowded traffic, the carpool lane or the handicapped lane?

Re:Handicapped lanes? (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892215)

No rubbernecking unless your handicap is you have a neck that has the strength of rubber.

I see what you did there (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28891839)

I see what you did there.

Re:I see what you did there (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892441)

It's been awhile since I've seen a manifestation of the once-common ISWYDT... thanks for bringing 1999 back in all it's glory. I see what you did there.

Braille ATMs (2, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891847)

Always a good idea. You're in a taxi, and need some cash. Do you give the driver your card and the PIN and hope he doesn't rip you off? I think not.

Blind drivers? Not such a good idea. Better to let the car (or some other human) drive it.

Re:Braille ATMs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28891975)

Drive up ATMs??? My god you Americans are lazy.

Re:Braille ATMs (2, Insightful)

Jared555 (874152) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892021)

That and the companies that own them probably don't want to provide parking.

Re:Braille ATMs (3, Insightful)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892023)

It has nothing to do with laziness and everything to do with the way this country is structured. With a few exceptions (New York City, San Francisco and a couple of other cities), the U.S. is very spread out, even in urban areas. It can be several miles to the nearest bank and that can be in the opposite direction of the supermarket. There are also places like certain shopping malls which are nearly impossible to access on foot. Our public transportation systems are woefully inadequate as well, making a car pretty essential for most people in the United States. On top of all of this, some bank branches don't have any ATMs other than the drive-up window.

Re:Braille ATMs (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892053)

Drive up ATMs??? My god you Americans are lazy.

well, gee, Sparky. Not everyone lives in a fully walkable city environment. Quite often, it is built in to the same place as the drive through teller lane.
OMG! Yes, we have drive through banks. Often, just down the street from drive through food.

Some places even have drive through beer.
mmmmmmmm

Re:Braille ATMs (2, Funny)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892125)

Drive up ATMs??? My god you Americans are lazy.

Yeah... what's next? Drive through gyms?

Re:Braille ATMs (1)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892489)

Drive through gyms?

Of course not [wastelandamerica.com]

Re:Braille ATMs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28892603)

It's a shoop.

Re:Braille ATMs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28892141)

Lazy? Or Clever?

Sheesh, I'm surprised you don't require somebody to actually be parked inside the ATM doing the work! Or make everybody carry their money around in pennies!

Even the blind... (5, Funny)

GhostGuy (708750) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891849)

Even the blind can see that this is a bad idea. And they don't need voice commands and vibrations to do it.

Re:Even the blind... (1)

Jared555 (874152) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892039)

Ever see mythbusters? They gave voice instructions to a blind person and he was able to drive a vehicle fairly well.

The main issue is any systems/standardizations that would need to be performed to interact with lights, etc. but that is already being worked on for self driving cars, etc.

Re:Even the blind... (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892193)

> on for self driving cars

I want one of these !

Just tell it where you want to go, no more speeding tickets etc. I could even use my car to go to the bar.

Where do I get one ?

Re:Even the blind... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28892397)

Anyone can handle easy situations. A nine-year-old could probably do a decent job of driving an empty interstate, for instance. The real question is, how will they be able to handle difficult situations? What if the car in front of them suddenly slams the breaks? What if a dog or a deer or a child suddenly runs in front of the car? What if the car starts slipping around a slick bridge in winter? Etc.

Re:Even the blind... (4, Funny)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892057)

Even the blind can see that this is a bad idea.

No, they can't.

holy crap (4, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891853)

I hope they never allow these things on public roads with blind drivers. Handicapped accesibility is good and all but we shouldn't risk handicapping more people for it. Seriously, the driving is dangerous enough with a bunch of idiots who can see just fine.

Re:holy crap (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892187)

Combining this with a computer override to prevent collisions would improve things.
Although if it's good enough to keep a blind person from crashing it's probably almost good enough to drive itself.

Are there any rules regarding driverless (or even passengerless vehicles?

Re:holy crap (2)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892589)

You know this may be one of those cases where incomplete AI could have use. This system alloys the blind to do most of the hard computation and the AI simply analyzes the situation and only acts to prevent certain disaster. It assists the driver instead of taking over the driving.

Re:holy crap (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892601)

Just remember, when you get hit by a blind driver driving one of these, don't sue them.

Sue the companies that came up with such wonderful ideas.

Now, I have nothing against the handicapped, but driving is a primarily visual task. Putting someone behind the wheel just isn't a good idea, yet. I say yet, because there might come a day to where you can think of every possible circumstance a driver could get themselves into, and plan for it, but our cars would have to run on tracks and all at set speeds, sheltered from the weather and pedestrians.

Re:Yet (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892879)

Thing about buzzes alone is they are low-density signals.

I'm going to take a frame from the recent movies and say "let's then come up with matching tech that augments the blind person! Daredevil Inc."

I think this is a Plato's Cave app. When you 'see' things, you're processing a mental map of light bouncing off objects. Okay, someone can't see in the regular sense. Find some alternate scanning system with the same order of complexity and teach the new mental map. One company experimented with audio texture sweeps. I think there's still chances for direct-neural stim to bypass a weak link in the visual system, etc.

Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28892835)

Obviously we should base our decisions on new technologies on our gut "HOLY SHIT! You can't do that!" Empirical evidence has no place in a modern society.

All good, but... (4, Funny)

heretic108 (454817) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891859)

...the driver had better concentrate on the guidance system and not be distracted by any scent of a woman.

Re:All good, but... (3, Insightful)

Jared555 (874152) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892047)

Think how talking on a cellphone would end

Re:All good, but... (1)

FelixNZ (1426093) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892107)

Oh to have modpoints right now... Great call.

Bicycles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28891891)

.. and crosswalks. and pets & kids rushing out between parked cars. I mean, that's just off the top of my head. There's a lot more than just other cars out there.

What about a new rail system (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891905)

Make it hold up to 8 people per car on a computerized rail system that could switch rails until you get to a destination. We don't have to wait for technology to catchup to get a system like this, we could build it in cities now.

Re:What about a new rail system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28891957)

Parent seems to be talking about personal rapid transit [wikipedia.org] .

Blind people are already driving.... (4, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891907)

....in my neighbourhood. That and/or terminally stupid. What else would you call not stopping for a red light at a busy intersection?

Re:Blind people are already driving.... (4, Funny)

Amouth (879122) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891947)

natural selection - making an attempt.

Re:Blind people are already driving.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28892353)

What else would you call not stopping for a red light at a busy intersection?
 
Darwin.

I don't know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28891909)

I will believe it when I see it...

J

Missing tag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28891961)

frickinlasers?

Re:Missing tag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28891979)

these aren't blind sharks....

Infrastructure (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28891969)

So now we can all stop asking why the drive up ATM's have braille and audio out! Now that's planning ahead!

i see (1)

weirdo557 (959623) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891977)

i see what you did there!

OT: A Word on Braille on Drive-up ATMs (4, Informative)

prichardson (603676) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892013)

Q: What's the only thing more moronic than having braille on a drive-up ATM?

A: Manufacturing two different keypads when one does just fine and incurring the costs to do so.

In other words, having braille on all ATMs doesn't hurt anyone, even if it's an ATM that would be otherwise impractical for a visually impaired person.

Re:OT: A Word on Braille on Drive-up ATMs (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892561)

Hey you're right! Why do we even have stairs? Can't everything be a ramp? Why engineer both, when a simple ramp would work? "...and she's walking up the wheelchair ramp to heaven.."

Re:OT: A Word on Braille on Drive-up ATMs (1)

brusk (135896) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892843)

Also, what if a sighted person wanted to take a blind person to a drive-up ATM, with the blind person in the driver's-side rear seat? What we REALLY need are braille street signs.

Fuck idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28892025)

Audio warnings aren't going to give them eye sight and the reflexes of a normal driver. All the range finders in the world won't let you know what traffic is O.K. to be close to you and what traffic is driving at you at 60 mph running a red light.

Enjoy dieing. Call it natural selection I guess.

Voice commands, I can hear it now (0)

Strange Ranger (454494) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892029)

Oh no I left my phone at home"
- We could go right back and get it.
I think I left it right on the counter
- Do you want to turn around and get it?
I think we just did?!
- Oh shit! Where the hell are we?

Other applications (2, Insightful)

arb phd slp (1144717) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892033)

If it works for a go-kart it could work for a motorized wheelchair. Lots of people with cerebral palsy also have sensory impairments. The sensors and software have the potential to increase the independence of a lot of people.

Who is at fault if you get hit be one of the auto (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892041)

Who is at fault if you get hit be one of the auto drive cars?

Where going to sue the state, the people who made the car, the University of Maryland, Virginia Tech, the students, the people who installed this, the voice actor and any other person that let it happen.

Re:Who is at fault if you get hit be one of the au (1)

FelixNZ (1426093) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892117)

The only answer is to SUE THEM ALL!

Only testing? (2, Funny)

Revenger75 (1246176) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892049)

The way I see people drive every day, I'd have thought that they have passed testing and moved onto production.

Cyclists Go Squish? (4, Insightful)

VaticDart (889055) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892051)

For some reason, as someone who gets around almost entirely by bicycle, this seems like an incredibly bad idea to me.

as a bicycle rider (1)

revisionz (82265) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892059)

I have to say wow, a car for everybody!

Re:as a bicycle rider (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28892153)

Indeed.

Please present your face for swift application of your car.

Nothing new (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28892061)

SUVs have been around for years.

The reason for braille on drive-up ATMs (4, Informative)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892083)

People cite braille on drive-up ATMs as political correctness gone crazy or the ludicrousness of government regulation, but the real reason that there is braille on drive-up ATMs is that it's not cost-effective to make two sets of ATM machines, one with braille and one without, especially since the braille has absolutely no effect on the way the machine functions. A second, braille-free model would just be for cosmetic reasons.

Re:The reason for braille on drive-up ATMs (1)

fabs64 (657132) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892135)

You have to wonder at the people who seem to think that every ATM is a hand-crafted flower for its specific context right down to the keypad too

Re:The reason for braille on drive-up ATMs (2, Interesting)

Kenja (541830) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892155)

Then explain why banks are required BY LAW, to replace perfectly good drive up ATMs with brail versions?

Re:The reason for braille on drive-up ATMs (1)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892181)

Will you please cite said law?

Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28892511)

section 4.34.4 of the ADA Accessibility Guidelines

Ask a veteran what they think about government health care.

Re:The reason for braille on drive-up ATMs (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892177)

Mod parent up.

Seriously, I can't believe that people are still citing it. I was coming to make that comment myself, but I'm glad to see someone else beat me to the punch.

Re:The reason for braille on drive-up ATMs (2, Informative)

SignOfZeta (907092) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892183)

[...] ATM machines [...]

I knew someone would do this. You bring up ATM machines, PIN numbers, and the HIV virus, and acronyms get no respect.

Re:The reason for braille on drive-up ATMs (1)

N3Roaster (888781) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892259)

I wonder if this would happen less if we started calling these things AT machines, PI numbers, and the HI virus. All of these sound cooler anyway.

Re:The reason for braille on drive-up ATMs (2, Funny)

SignOfZeta (907092) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892315)

We already have a pi number, though. It's a little more than three.

Re:The reason for braille on drive-up ATMs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28892593)

How about just what they were originally? ATMs, PINs and HIV?

Re:The reason for braille on drive-up ATMs (1)

N3Roaster (888781) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892745)

No, that obviously doesn't work. As you point out, we've tried it already and it's gotten us the very redundancy that is the target of complaint. More generally, there seems to be a tendency among a large portion of the English speaking population to expand the last letter of an acronym after the letter the expansion stands for in cases where that last letter stands for the conceptual class to which that identified by the abbreviated form belongs. The idea is to recognize this and preemptively expand the letter in these cases, dropping the single letter from the acronym. I theorize that this would deter the introduction of the popular redundant form and save people on discussion forums the trouble of complaining about them. Additionally, as I mentioned, AT machine sounds much cooler than ATM.

Filed under: Good Luck with That

Re:The reason for braille on drive-up ATMs (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892271)

Amen. I drink a Schüttel-Shake [wordpress.com] to that! ("schüttel(n)" is the German word for "shake").

Re:The reason for braille on drive-up ATMs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28892223)

Plus, it might be a blind person in the back seat making the transaction.

Re:The reason for braille on drive-up ATMs (3, Insightful)

Mal-2 (675116) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892275)

People cite braille on drive-up ATMs as political correctness gone crazy or the ludicrousness of government regulation, but the real reason that there is braille on drive-up ATMs is that it's not cost-effective to make two sets of ATM machines, one with braille and one without, especially since the braille has absolutely no effect on the way the machine functions. A second, braille-free model would just be for cosmetic reasons.

Beyond that, there is always the possibility of a car rolling up with a blind passenger in the BACK, who may wish to operate the ATM unassisted. It must be bad enough never getting to drive... though that seems to be another barrier falling.

I have heard that Ray Charles liked to ride a motorcycle by following someone else and just listening to where they went and what noises their bike was making. (Needless to say, this requires a cooperative lead rider.) Then Mythbusters did the "blind drunk" driving test and found that a blind person can follow directions and drive passably. Maybe this is not so far-fetched. Still, if we can make a machine smart enough to instruct a person how to drive, why can't we just let the machine drive?

Mal-2

Re:The reason for braille on drive-up ATMs (1)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892557)

I have heard that Ray Charles liked to ride a motorcycle by following someone else and just listening to where they went and what noises their bike was making. (Needless to say, this requires a cooperative lead rider.) Then Mythbusters did the "blind drunk" driving test and found that a blind person can follow directions and drive passably. Maybe this is not so far-fetched. Still, if we can make a machine smart enough to instruct a person how to drive, why can't we just let the machine drive?

I think the regular driving is pretty straight forward. Handling unusual situations is the tricky part. Many emergency situations could be handled better by a machine driving, but some stuff (e.g. slowing down when a cop on the side of the road signals you to) is going to be very hard to get right for either a machine or a blind human.

Re:The reason for braille on drive-up ATMs (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892631)

"Then Mythbusters did the "blind drunk" driving test and found that a blind person can follow directions and drive passably. "

Bah. Top Gear had a blind man drive a car around a racetrack by following directions 4 years earlier than that Mythbusters episode. He even beat a few sighted people's time who they've had on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbiYtg5geoo [youtube.com]

Re:The reason for braille on drive-up ATMs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28892813)

if we can make a machine smart enough to instruct a person how to drive, why can't we just let the machine drive?

Agreed! Right, two interfaces other than one. I know I know - the cars mech. could count as a second Interface - but not one that ignore commands to stop because it's drinking some bevage and taling on a cellphone. To do this, the system clearly needs good sensors, traffic law knowledge, situational awarness, and needs to make a correct decision. At that point the system should execute decision. Really!

 

Re:The reason for braille on drive-up ATMs (1)

ksattic (803397) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892407)

Er, isn't the real reason that not everyone has a car?

I don't see the issue? (1)

Plantain (1207762) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892099)

I seem to be unable to visualize the problem.

Titles messed up? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28892115)

I see "Comments: 42 +- Technology: Prototype Vehicle For the Blind" as the title.

Taco doing LIVE trials again? WTF?

Less than perfectly ideal driving conditions? (1)

evilsofa (947078) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892127)

1. Rush hour downtown traffic. Account for bicycles, buses and pedestrians with utterly no regard for traffic rules. Throw in random construction zones.

2. Icy conditions anywhere. They do get snow and ice in Virginia, don't they?

I quit driving, and all I lost was my peripheral vision. There is NO WAY this can ever go anywhere but a closed course.

Only Fitting (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892209)

It is only fitting that the first blind driver vehicle is tested in the DC metro area. With the way people drive there, no one will notice.

Holy fsck! (1)

FunkyRider (1128099) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892249)

Soon this road will become a slaughter ground... If they really allow blind people to drive on the same road, I'll quit! Wait, maybe I can actually do some funny stuff with them... LOL!

I love Ford's promotion regarding the blind (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892301)

and driving... haven't see good work like this since their soldier related Mustang commercials

http://www.fordvehicles.com/the2010mustang/?id=/ [fordvehicles.com]

Warning, it is broken into multiple episodes but overall it is well done. It also is a great kick to see this guy and other members of the community getting to drive one of these cars.

Virginia Tech? (3, Funny)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892411)

Weren't they supposed to develop a gun for blind shooters first?

Re:Virginia Tech? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28892659)

Not cool dude. Certainly not +3 funny.

-a VT CS student

Even better! (1)

electricprof (1410233) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892467)

Inspired by this latest development, I'm working on with my latest project... a device that will allow intelligent ethical people to be congressmen ...

ATM (-1, Redundant)

robow (1609129) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892479)

Braile at drive up ATM's will finally make sense

Re:ATM (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892683)

Very good, you managed to repeat the ending of the summary. Now you can graduate from parrot tasks to rhesus monkey tasks.

Great first step... (1)

Philetus (1069728) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892621)

As someone who can't drive, I think this is an amazing first step in a technological revolution I did not expect to start for at least another 10 years.

I have a degenerative eye disease, and while I can see well enough to take care of myself (and work for more than a decade as a copy editor), I have no problem saying that I don't see well enough to drive. For me, it's OK: I live in a walking-friendly city, go to a bar that's two blocks away and go to a grocery store six blocks away (as long as I don't need more than two bags of groceries at a time). And yes, I walk through ATMs that people usually drive through.

But something like this, when the kinks are worked out - I'd say a minimum of seven years from this stage to any sort of street-legal production - would allow for true independence.

Traffic lights are simple: tap into the change frequency from the lights themselves, then install a failsafe that will not allow the car to engage before the intersection is clear. Knowing bicycles are there and avoiding them is just a matter of fine-tuning the sensors to recognize smaller-than-motorcycle-sized objects (my guess is that by the time this hits the streets, it will take far more notice of bikers than most actual drivers do). I don't know how you solve the problem of pedestrians running out in front of cars, except that hopefully they'll learn after the first time.

Self-driving cars will come a whole lot sooner than flying cars, and the technology that's being developed here will probably be pivotal in their design. I'm just glad that someone has taken a functional first step in focusing this technology on people who truly need it, as opposed to those who are just don't want to drive themselves.

Reminds me of this ad (1)

ross.w (87751) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892817)

Three barks? [youtube.com]

Outsource (1)

brusk (135896) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892873)

Why not use the best kind of AI--people? Stick cameras and mikes all over the outside of the car, give it a speedy 5G connection and good GPS, and have someone sitting in a car simulator in India do the driving?
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