When you mention Daytona International Speedway, chances are you would think of high speed thrills and spills, but last Saturday saw an exciting event unfold that didn’t involve any race – Mark Riccobono, legally blind since the age of 5, managed to show off a bunch of the Ford Escape’s new features on the same circuit. Riccobono, an executive director of the National Federation of the Blind’s Jernigan Institute, actually piloted the hybrid SUV around the racetrack while thousands of people were watching, not to mention hundreds of blind crowd members listening. This is part of the Blind Driver Challenge, where its ultimate objective would be to “build interface technologies that will empower blind people to drive a car independently.” It will be some time before that objective is achieved, but you can never underestimate the human will and intelligence, can you?
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