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Honda creates app to help blind occupants ‘see’ out of the car window

Japanese car maker uses AI tech to paint a mental picture of the view

Published: 15 Apr 2024

Honda has created an app for the blind. It's called 'Honda Scenic Audio' and it'll narrate the view of a car journey using a suite of AI technologies. A group of visually impaired people is currently beta testing the innovative new solution.

The app has been developed in partnership with the Perkins School for the Blind and the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind. We’re told it uses a combination of computer vision, generative AI, satellite imaging, and a multitude of other feeds – including weather reports and location targeting – to accurately describe what’s going on outside the window.

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Honda says it's not just about the scenery. Comparisons of height, terrain and the temperature help to build a picture so occupants in the car can gain more enjoyment from their journeys.

Phil Hruska, senior manager, Honda Marketing, said: "By creating a detailed narrative of the roadside views during a scenic driving experience, the Honda Scenic Audio app can help to open imaginations and enhance the joy of car travel to blind and visually impaired passengers."

According to Honda's video that demonstrates the tech in use, people with disabilities are the world's largest minority and there are around 285 million blind or visually impaired people across the globe, missing out on the changing landscapes that come with some of the best roadtrips. Stacey Lacey of the Perkins School's Howe Innovation Centre, said: "It's the only minority group that anyone can join at any moment in their lives."

Finally, a legitimately awesome use of AI, right?

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