Blind Passengers Can Imagine View outside Cars with Ford’s New Device

Category : Technology/Innovations

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. impaired / ɪmˈpeərd / (adj) – not functioning well

    The vehicle has a voice-over feature to aid visually impaired passengers.

  2. convey / kənˈveɪ / (v) – to communicate something

    The app can convey one’s message to other users.

  3. landscape / ˈlændˌskeɪp / (n) – a scenery

    I took a photo of the beautiful landscape from my window.  

  4. monochrome / ˈmɒn əˌkroʊm / (adj) – showing only different shades of gray or black and white

    I can’t see what’s in the monochrome picture.

  5. visualize / ˈvɪʒ u əˌlaɪz / (v) – to create a mental image of something

    The description helped me visualize what the product looks like.


Read the text below.

Ford Italy has created a new device that allows visually impaired passengers to “feel” the view outside the car window.

The innovation called “Feel the View” is Ford’s collaboration project with Aedo [ahy-doh]—an Italian startup that creates devices specifically for the blind. According to a Ford Italy representative, the company saw this innovation as a great way to let visually impaired passengers experience the wonders of riding a vehicle. He also pointed out that the innovation aims to turn everyday journeys into unforgettable ones.

The device integrates a camera attached to a car window and an image recognition system with a voice-over feature. This system verbally conveys information on the landscape outside the vehicle, such as a mountain or an ocean.

In addition, blind passengers can press a button on the device to take a picture of the external view. With the help of special LEDs, the picture is then converted into a monochrome image that is displayed on the car window. Various shades of gray vibrate at different frequencies whenever the passengers touch the window. This feature allows them to visualize the image.

On a similar note, Toyota also developed a device that aids blind people. Project BLAID is a device worn on the user’s shoulder. It contains cameras that can detect doors, escalators, and stairs. Users can also rely on the device’s speakers for any information about the surrounding environment. They can also interact with the device using its voice recognition features and buttons.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Between the innovations of Ford and Toyota, which one do you think is more helpful for the blind? Discuss.
• Do you think other car companies should also create devices for the blind? Explain.

Discussion B

• Should your country invest more in technology that assists people with disabilities? Why or why not?
• Do you think that having the right technology is enough to help people with disabilities cope with everyday life? Why or why not?

Category : Technology/Innovations