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Driverless cars give hope to blind - are automakers onboard?

By JASON DEAREN
Associated Press

OCALA, Fla. (AP) - Advocates for visually impaired people worry that the self-driving-car industry is leaving them behind as it develops autos of the future.

To make up for that, they're turning to university researchers to help build systems to unlock the potential of autonomous cars for the blind.

In a University of Florida study, blind people are using experimental software that can be easily installed on tablet computers, in cars, and on peoples' phones.

University of Florida researcher Julian Brinkley developed the program, which he named "Atlas."

Brinkley says the focus is helping the visually impaired verify they are on the right route while in transit, through a voice that calls out landmarks and street names.

The program also helps people navigate from the car to their destination once they arrive.

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