[Nfbnet-members-list] Fwd: Happy Anniversary of Blind Driver Challenge—Accelerating Our Efforts

David Andrews dandrews920 at comcast.net
Sat Jan 30 07:09:08 UTC 2021

>Celebrating Tenth Anniversary of Blind Driver 
>Challenge­Accelerating Our Efforts
>The National Federation of the Blind is 
>celebrating the ten year anniversary of the 
>Blind Driver Challenge by accelerating it this 
>year. We are collaborating with 
>Parker to build and operate a car to attempt to 
>break the Guinness Book World Record for the 
>“Fastest Speed for a Car Driven Blindfolded” in 
>the fall of 2021, anticipating reaching a speed 
>of over two hundred miles perhour.
>The effort is an acceleration of the NFB’s Blind 
>Driver Challenge, an initiative in which the 
>ability of a blind driver to successfully 
>operate an automobile using nonvisual technology 
>was demonstrated ten years ago. On January 29, 
>Riccobono, now President of the National 
>Federation of the Blind, independently operated 
>a modified Ford Escape hybrid on the Daytona 
>International Speedway, navigating the course’s 
>turns as well as avoiding dynamic obstacles by 
>following haptic prompts generated by inputfrom 
>the vehicle’s GPS, cameras, and LIDAR sensors. 
>The goal of the Blind Driver Challenge going 
>forward is for the nation’s blind to share our 
>lived experience and expertise in nonvisual 
>technology in a collaboration with industry 
>leaders to develop nonvisual interfaces so that 
>blind people will be able to independently use 
>autonomous vehicles to safely navigate daily life.
>“Our Daytona Blind Driver Challenge 
>demonstration changed the perceptions of 
>blindness held by society, including the 
>perceptions that we ourselves held as blind 
>people,” said Mark Riccobono, President of the 
>National Federation of the Blind. “It further 
>demonstrated to the world that the expertise of 
>the blind is critical to the development of 
>nonvisual interfaces. We are now accelerating 
>the challenge in 2021 because the need for 
>urgency in the development and implementation of 
>accessibility in emerging technology is even 
>greater. We look forward to working with Dan 
>Parker and others on innovations thatwill 
>enhance the mobility and independence of blind Americans.”
>“I am proud and honored to partner with the 
>National Federation of the Blind and the Blind 
>Driver Challenge to bring the Guinness World 
>Record for the fastest blind person in the world 
>home to America,” said Dan Parker. “With the 
>work of the Blind Driver Challenge, it was 
>demonstrated that a blind person can safely 
>drive a vehicle, and I will demonstrate that a 
>blind person can safely race a vehicle at over 
>two hundred miles per hour. Together we hope to 
>inspire the blind youth of today to get involved 
>in STEM at their schools. My2008 Corvette is a 
>purpose-built race car and I designed every aspect of it.”
>Dan Parker is the first blind person to 
>independently drive a vehicle to fifty miles per 
>hour, one hundred miles per hour, and one 
>hundred fifty miles per hour to this date. His 
>Corvette makes over eight hundred horsepower and 
>has a custom guidance system that gives him audible feedback.
>Stay tuned for more exciting details on the 
>Driver Challenge.
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