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Google's new car allows blind to get behind wheel

30 March, 2012

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Web giant Google has already changed the way we search the internet, watch video and navigate. But the firm's latest breakthrough could be its biggest innovation yet, reports the Daily Mail.

The company promises that its self-driving car will enable blind people to drive, as the vehicle takes over nearly all the functions of the car currently controlled by humans.

The project has been several years in the making, and was officially unveiled in October 2010.

But recently it has taken a further step forward, after putting blind people in the driving seat and inviting them to test the technology that could revolutionise their lives.

Google has released a video showing Steve Mahan, dubbed 'Self-Driving Car User #0000000001', using the car to carry out his daily routine.

Mahan, who is 95 percent blind, drives to buy a taco and pick up dry-cleaning - activities which may seem humdrum, but which are shut off to many blind people who do not have a companion or carer to accompany them.

But a lot more needs to be worked out before the cars hit the road without the direct supervision of Google engineers. It would be a brave government which issued driver's licences to the blind - but the wonders of technology could still make it a reality.


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