White car on an asphault road.

Transportation

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Self driving cars, once exclusive to science fiction novels, are coming to cities across Canada. Even more amazing is that these vehicles will not only be able to navigate without any human intervention but will do so while communicating with other vehicles!
CNIB, with partial funding from Transport Canada, has begun to try and answer many of the questions around connected autonomous vehicles and their potential impact on pedestrians with sight loss.
We hope to have answers to the following questions – and more! – when we complete our research later this year.

  1. How will pedestrians with sight loss know when it's safe to enter an intersection?
  2. Will someone who is blind know there are vehicles present when navigating their neighborhood or city streets, given the low noise emission of these vehicles?
  3. Will the data being uploaded to municipal "clouds" be usable by digital wayfinding apps to help with navigation?

CNIB's research includes partnerships with the University of Toronto and Robert Wall Emerson, a Professor in Blindness and Low Vision Studies, from the University of Western Michigan.
The research will include both a global literature review and a stakeholder survey. The literature review has now been completed and will be available soon!
We are extending an invitation to persons with sight loss throughout the world to complete a brief survey as part of our stakeholder consultation. The survey will help us inform Transport Canada about the perceptions, challenges and opportunities perceived by persons with sight loss and their strategies in navigating the built environment. The survey will be available until April 2019. It can be accessed here.