Honda Scenic Audio App Shares the Joy of Driving With the Blind and Visually Impaired

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The cameras and artificial intelligence that undergird the latest advanced driver-assist systems and safety features have myriad uses outside of cars, too. Honda has developed one such application in partnership with the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Mass. Called Honda Scenic Audio, the app uses AI to create detailed narrations of the world outside the car windows, helping the blind and visually impaired experience the joy of a scenic drive.

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Using what Honda calls “a combination of computer vision, generative AI, satellite imaging, and a multitude of other technologies and sources, including geotargeting and weather reports,” the app does more than simply describe the scenery. A video demonstrating its operation shows it describing the wet concrete in a rainy urban area as “giving the impression of a space in transition.”

The Perkins School for the Blind and the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind are currently beta-testing the Honda Scenic Audio app. Honda says Scenic Audio’s literary tone and expressive descriptions “create multifaceted narratives,” and allow more people in its communities to “enjoy the ride.” Dennis Gilliam, Ed. D., president of AIDB, says, “Technology, such as the Scenic Audio app Honda is rolling out in this beta testing, has helped bridge the gap from reliance upon others to independent living and discovery.”

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