[Missouri-l] Fwd: Blind Drivers
KCAgape at aol.com
KCAgape at aol.com
Fri Apr 16 18:31:29 CDT 2010
Hi Peter and Dr. Hong:
That is another issue I have about blind people driving. Also, if I
understand the technology correctly, it uses a laser to guide the blind driver.
What I wonder now, and perhaps I am washed-up about the technology, but a
laser beam travels in a straight line, and driving requires a panoramic
(i.e., full) view of one's surroundings. The laser may very well indicate a
hazard in front of the driver, but what about a driver in another vehicle
attempting to pass? The laser will be focused on the potential hazard
directly ahead, it seems, and appears unable to account for all the other things
that would come into the blind driver's space. Will a voice tell the blind
driver an object is X number of feet ahead of him/her, but what about the
other driver's of other vehicles, for example? Will another voice tell the
blind driver there is another driver along side, and, if so, what about
other drivers? Then, what about other objects such as a child or animal
darting out on the street? Will the technology allow for multiple situations?
As I wrote before, the technology appears sound if the blind driver were in
a controlled environment, but driving is so inexact and hardly
predictable. Here is an analogy: Say you are at a party in a room where there are
several people having different conversations. You give most of your
attention to one person, and talk with him/her, but you also have to listen to
others speaking because what they say will affect how you respond to the
overall situation. Are you truly able to give the other speakers the identical
attention each speaker truly needs, or are speakers whom you hear, but to
not pay as much close attention to as you give the primary person you are
listening to? It is nearly if not impossible. A special vehicle for a blind
driver is a wonderful concept, and the opportunity for getting the freedom
that comes with driving would give us a tremendous amount of independence.
You also need to be realistic and practical. I would love to see this
concept work not only in an environment in that everything is safe and
predictable, but in other situations such as the freak thunderstorm, another
driver ahead has a flat tire and puts on his/her breaks without warning, a
driver in another lane driving under the influence, and crossing right in front
of you, a kid chasing a ball who is in your path. These ideas are not so
far-fetched. These are a few situations those who see have to contend with
every time they get into their cars.
I believe Peter's comments echo my feelings, too.
In a message dated 4/12/2010 10:10:16 P.M. Central Daylight Time,
paltschul at centurytel.net writes:
I am intrigued by the research being done here; I do think it’s worth
remembering, though, that there is a reason why blind people cannot be pilots
even with all the great gadgets involved. And the reason is that gadges
have a way of breaking at inopportune moments.
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