What is the Blind Driver Challenge®?
This groundbreaking initiative of our NFB Jernigan Institute challenges universities, technology developers, and other interested innovators to establish NFB Blind Driver Challenge® (BDC) teams—in collaboration with the NFB—to build interface technologies that will empower blind people to drive a car independently. The “challenge” is not the development of an autonomous car that drives a blind person around; the “challenge” is to develop a nonvisual interface for a car that can convey real-time information about driving conditions to the blind so that we can use our own capacity to think and react to interpret these data and maneuver a car safely.
The purpose of the NFB Blind Driver Challenge® is to stimulate nonvisual technological innovation through the NFB Jernigan Institute. The goals of this initiative are:
· To establish a path of technological advancement for nonvisual access technology, and close the gap between access technology and general technology.
· To increase awareness among the university scientific community about the “real problems” facing the blind by providing expertise from the perspective of the blind within the context of a difficult engineering challenge.
· To demonstrate that vision is not a requirement for success and that the application of innovative nonvisual solutions to difficult problems can create new opportunities for hundreds of thousands of people—blind and sighted.
· To change the public perceptions about the blind by creating opportunities for the public to view blind people as individuals with capacity, ambition, and a drive for greater independence.