While it is always important for drivers to keep their eyes on the road, we will never know about that when it comes to blind drivers. The National Federation of the Blind and Virginia Polytechnic Institute are currently on a project that involves no-see driver system for blind people. Eventually, with this kind of technology and innovation, it would be also be probable that even blind people are required to avail of an auto insurance.
Virginia Tech students personally developed the system that would require the installation of laser rangefinders and audio commands to tell the driver to perform actions such as stop, accelerate or turn. Other prototypes, as announced by the Public Radio International, would make drivers use gloves and other gears that will help the blind people drive.
Many people see this as something dangerous for the sightless people. Executive Director Mark Riccobono of the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute said that the system would provide the blind an experience to drive through their eyes, only this time in a different way.
In 2004, the Jernigan Institute posed a challenge to university research groups to create a system or method that would enable blind people to drive. This project by the Virginia Tech was granted a $3000 amount from the National Federation of the Blind.
The new system, which can be referred as to the “non-visual interface technology”, uses sensors that have laser attributes, transmitters, vibrating gloves and parts that release compressed air. When all parts will work together, they will be sending messages to the driver to perform the right action.This issue, as many say, should be viewed with an understanding that the blind can be capable of driving. They want to drive the car and not be driven with it. The issue is also present beyond the borders of Virginia Tech. The possibility of having blind drivers on the road is raising queries. Among this is the possibility of the development of auto vehicles for blind drivers. Autonomous vehicles may appear that would be installed with GPS technology and computers and features such as the function of auto pilot.
Peter Moraga, Insurance Information Network of California spokesperson, says that auto-pilot vehicles could reduce the number of accidents and may also be on the safer roads for the drivers’ sake.
Though it may be inevitable that due to a possible risky ordinance allowing blind people to drive, it may also be possible that this fact will have an effect on the auto insurance policies, which will be issued to them in the near future. The insurance industry has nothing much to say about this and doesn’t have anything to say yet. Most auto insurance companies say that they haven’t really had guidelines about pricing for both visually and hearing impaired drivers, let alone blind drivers. They state that they can’t really determine how they would be pricing auto insurance for blind people since it will yet to come. In addition, they said that the pricing would pose as a challenge for them.