Experiences as a Test Driver: The Blind Driver Challenge and its impact on technology, accessibility, and new possibilities for independence;
Mark Riccobono, President, National Federation of the Blind
The Blind Driver Challenge is the commitment to pursuing the development of innovative nonvisual interfaces that might be used to empower blind people with the information necessary to drive. On January 29, 2011, our NFB Blind Driver Challenge™ demonstration of the prototype nonvisual interface that makes it possible for a blind person to independently drive a car made history at 11:30 a.m. EST, preceding the Rolex 24 at the Daytona International Speedway. Mark Riccobono became the first blind driver by independently driving 1.5 miles of the road course at Daytona in a demonstration that included avoiding static and dynamic obstacles, driving a number of turns and straight aways, and passing another vehicle.
In 2022, NFB collaborated with Dan Parker to build and operate a car to attempt to break the Guinness Book World Record for the “Fastest Speed for a Car Driven Blindfolded”, which was achieved at 211.043 miles per hour on Thursday, March 31.