British company to test driverless pods for people with visual impairments

The company plans on having blind veterans be the first to test the autonomous tech

March 07, 2019
Aurrigo driverless pod for visually impaired

Aurrigo, a Coventry-based autonomous vehicle specialist, is set to test its autonomous technology by conducting trials of their driverless pods involving blind veterans in Brighton, England, U.K.

The company plans on having blind veterans be the first to test the driverless pods ahead of plans to roll them out on British streets. Former soldiers with visual impairments will be among those able to travel in the four-seat pods, which travel at a maximum speed of 15mph off road, during a six-month testing program that will start in April in Brighton. 

This is the first time Aurrigo has ever conducted an extended trial with veterans or people with a disability. The company hopes the initiative will offer a solution to disabled users who currently struggle to travel between their homes and distant transit points. The point of the trial is to showcase how autonomous technology can help those with health conditions and disabilities.

One area this study will explore is the importance of voice activated controls, something Aurrigo piloted with IBM Watson at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Aurrigo has partnered with Blind Veterans UK to develop the trial program. The hope is that the testing will result in valuable real-life experiences the company can use to improve the technology going forward. Blind Veterans UK has a training and rehabilitation center in Ovingdean, near Brighton, which will be used as the off-road test site next month.

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Source: The Telegraph / Coventry Live / Aurrigo

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