Seeing is believing.

The old adage rings truer than ever with incredible new technology developed by Ford in Italy where there’s certainly plenty of countryside to see.

From rolling hills to mountain ranges, views make any road trip memorable, but for blind passengers this is part of the experience where they miss out.

A prototype smart car window aims to change this, however, by enabling blind or partially-sighted people to visualise passing scenery through touch — in much the same way same as they run their hands over someone’s face.

Feel The View takes pictures of the passing scenery that are turned into high-contrast monochrome images and then reproduced on the smart window using special LEDs.

By touching the image, different shades of grey vibrate with a range of 255 intensities, allowing passengers to touch the scene and build an image in their mind the landscape in front of them.

Feel The View was conceived and developed by Ford’s team in Italy and GTB Roma, in collaboration with Aedo — a local start-up that specialises in devices for the visually impaired.

“We seek to make people’s lives better and this was a fantastic opportunity to help blind passengers experience a great aspect of driving,” Ford spokesman, Marco Alu Saffi, said.

“The technology is advanced, but the concept is simple – and could turn mundane journeys into truly memorable ones.”


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Ford takes the blind sightseeing


Chris Riley has been a journalist for 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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