Autonomous Cars - Can they fulfill a disabled person’s dream of personal mobility?

Autonomous Cars - Can they fulfill a disabled person’s dream of personal mobility?

Rapid advancements in technology have meant that our everyday lives are being introduced to smarter machines that assist us in almost everything we do. We now fhave smartphones that can perform a variety of tasks. Be it setting the alarm to wake yourself up in the morning or communicating with someone thousands of miles away; technology has got you covered. With the manufacturing of such impressive technologies becoming cheaper, the democratization of technology is no longer a dream. In other words, technology is able to positively affect the lives of more and more people as the years pass by.

The concept of personal mobility has similarly evolved over the years. Humans initially domesticated specialized animals for this purpose, then moved on to steam and internal combustion engines, and we finally have the modern-day automobile. Coupled with the fact that computers that can make billions of decisions in a split second are now omnipresent, the concept of personal mobility is itself becoming an intelligent system of its own! A good example of this is the advent of self-driving cars. Not only will they drive you to a destination of your choice, but the entire process will also be managed by a computer, which almost completely eliminates any need for any human intervention while at the same time reducing the risk of accidents due to human errors.

This can then represent a ray of hope for disabled people who struggle on a daily basis to commute to a destination. With autonomous cars, all they will have to do is provide the destination as an input to the system controlling the car, which will then proceed to drop the passenger off at with minimal hassle. Given how natural language processing has advanced over the years, the process of providing this input can also be given as a simple voice command. All this then translates to our visually impaired citizens being able to enjoy greater freedom of movement. This is another important leap for mankind because it ensures that nobody will be left behind because of a disability. Commuting is an arduous task for those with disabilities, which may no longer be the case once autonomous vehicles become mainstream. The future, then, is bright for our visually impaired friends!

Blindness is an unfortunate handicap, but true vision does not require the eyes.” -Helen Keller

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