Tuesday, December 27, 2011

MV-1: Wheelchair Accessible Car

MV-1 is the first ever vehicle to be introduced that is wheelchair accessible right out of the factory. Launched by a startup called Vehicle Production Group, the MV-1 is priced at $39,500 (and up),  and has been specifically designed keeping people with disabilities in mind.

The vehicle, which looks like a cross between a SUV and a mini van, is already available through 41 dealers in the US. The company already has orders for 4,000 of these vehicles, and is expected to manufacture 12,000 units next year, and 25,000 the year after. The vehicle is quite spacious - it has abundant head room and has room for four people in wheelchairs along with four adults plus luggage. It comes with a powerful V8 4.6L engine, and gives a mileage of around 15 mpg on gasoline or 13.5 mpg on compressed natural gas.

The MV-1 comes with a ramp that can be deployed manually, wheelchair restraining track, and a six way adjustable driver's seat. Spending a little more than $2,000 will give the MV-1 a power ramp with lighting and cruise control, among other things. It also comes up with a 5 year/75,000 miles warranty.

To see a list of all the features available in this vehicle, please go here.

See the videos for more information:

Source: Autoweek via @Empowerability

Saturday, December 3, 2011

WalkSafe - Android App That Watches Traffic

A new Android app called WalkSafe has been designed to watch for oncoming traffic on a busy road when a person is trying to cross the road while talking on the phone. This app may help people with visual impairment help detect approaching vehicles and take appropriate action (stay where you are/ cross the road quickly). The app uses the back camera of the phone, image recognition and machine learning algorithms to detect oncoming traffic. It alerts users by producing a loud sound and vibration.

The app can detect vehicles from 50 meters away traveling at a speed of 30 mph. The one limitation of this app is that it only detects traffic coming from one direction, not both.

As of now, WalkSafe does not have a good rating on the Android Market ( 2.2/5 from 12 users). Looks like it still needs some substantial work for it to be more widely used.

Watch the video for a quick demo:

WalkSafe on Android Market

Source: Gizmodo