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Think Tank

Driving While Blind: A Crazy Idea Come True

What's the Big Idea?

Steve Mahan is 95 percent blind. And yet he was able to get into a car and drive a pre-programmed route from his California home to a Taco Bell restaurant. Mahan was driving a Google autonomous car

For people like Mahan, who are visually impaired, this technology is liberating in a pretty fundamental way. It gives him the freedom of mobility, and the ability to be independent. While it will take a few more years for these vehicles to be widely available to the public, the video below gives us a glimpse of what the future will be like. 

Watch the video here:

What's the Significance?

It is easy to see from this video the tangible effects that technologies like autonomous cars can have on a person's life. People may be unable to drive for a variety of reasons in addition to poor vision. The goal of these vehicles is to make driving both safer and more efficient. 

For instance, this technology could help many drivers who are currently on the road, but who are driving distracted, and causing enormous dangers to public safety. Driving, after all, is no easy task for Americans, 36.9 million of whom would have failed a driving test, according to a survey released last year

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Follow Daniel Honan on Twitter @Daniel Honan

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