Ford has developed 'Feel The View' technology – a prototype smart car window that uses vibrations to ‘illustrate’ the view to blind passengers. The technology was created by Ford's Italian division in partnership with tech start-up Aedo. It converts a visual image into vibrations of varying intensities so that a blind or partially sighted person can feel the landscape.
The prototype takes a picture of the view on the other side of the window, then converts it into a black and white image. Each of the varying shades of grey in this image is then represented by a vibration of varying intensities, with 255 intensities in total. Although only a concept at this stage, the technology illustrates the further-reaching role that cars could play in a future.
“We seek to make people’s lives better and this was a fantastic opportunity to help blind passengers experience a great aspect of driving,” said a Ford spokesman. “The technology is advanced, but the concept is simple – and could turn mundane journeys into truly memorable ones.”
Ford’s investment into alternative technology was ramped up recently, as part of the new efficiency-boosting measures rolled out across the business. Ford is freeing up $11.5 billion (about Rs 768.03 billion) from existing programmes to fund the development of new propulsion systems and other alternative technologies. Part of the carmaker's cost-adjustment process will result in the Fiesta and all sedans being dropped from Ford’s US line-up by 2020.