Blindies and Cars

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wished I could just get into a car and drive. Heck, I bet you my whole salary I’m not the only blindy that fantasizes about the power behind the wheel, and the ability to control it.
You could even understand why we would want it so badly – independence. One less favour you have to ask a sighted person to do for you.
If I’m not mistaken, (no, I do not feel in the mood for research right now), last year at the Daetona Car Show, a demonstration was done where a blind person was navigating a self-driven car. Interesting … I also want a turn, please. 🙂
Then the other day I received another of these hand-itchingly hit-the-road-jackingly interesting emails about a blind person who successfully drove a Google-car to a pre-programmed destination.
All this sounds great, and trust me, if it’s reliable, and especially safe, my enthusiasm will bubble over. By the way, generous donations can be made to the Benevolent Blindy Car for Trasles Trust. 🙂
Some sensible and valuable comments were made to the email I spoke of earlier about the Google-car.
Would such a blindy-car not jeopardize the lives of others?
What if the technology fails you, as technology often does?
Who will be liable if an accident occurs, considering the car’s driving itself? Hit a child, who’s to blame?
I would imagine it could also be dangerous for you as a blindy.
But anyway, enough of this serious stuff …
I think as a member of the Fused Globe Brigade, I should write to Google and offer some South-Africa-specific suggestions for this courageous car, don’t you think?
My first recommendation is an extendable/retractable finger. After all, when people drive like chops, they need to be told. Body (I mean finger) language is everything in these situations.
Secondly finger language is not enough. You also need a face to pop out of the window. The face comes alongside a voice that says: “You bloody idiot, you should learn how to drive!”
That’s it for Chop Control.
Another nice feature it should have is the “what are you looking for” feature. For those times when we become scatter-brained and sweep the floor, and any available surface for keys, memory sticks, money, etc. It should be able to detect where it is, and tell us. O yes, an added bonus is if it can let you know if something’s fallen out of your pocket.
It should also have a specific characteristic especially inherent in some (note, I say some) blind men – the purposefully-sorry characteristid. It works like this: If it bumps into something, it needs to say: “Ooh, sorry, I’m blind.”
A nice bumper-sticker for this blindy-car could read: MOB (Mole On Board).
OK, enough senseless ramblings from me now.
The moral of the story: I guess the only thing I’ll ever drive is … when I drive you crazy. 🙂

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