Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

New AI-Based Scenic Audio App Designed to Enhance Journeys in Cars and Other Transportation and Make Them More Accessible to People Who are Blind and Visually Impaired

Audio description of visual material has increased accessibility to media and entertainment to people who are blind or have low vision for several years. Now, through AI (Artificial Intelligence), this technique can be used to describe visuals appearing during road trips. Honda has developed a new web application that uses AI technology to “help expand the joy of the journey to the blind and visually impaired by creating and narrating nuanced real-time scenic audio descriptions of the world outside their car window.” The Honda Scenic Audio App is being developed in partnership with Perkins School for the Blind’s Howe Innovation Center. The new app uses computer vision, generative AI, satellite imaging, and numerous additional technologies and sources, such as geotargeting and weather reports, to create a detailed description that goes beyond the basics of reporting on the scenery. It uses a literary tone, recognizable sounds, and other nuances to enhance the experience. The Scenic Audio app is now being beta tested with members of the blind and visually impaired (BVI) community. Beta testing is being conducted through the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB), a longstanding partner with Honda, and by the Howe Innovation Center, a “global DisabilityTech community.” The testing will help to obtain feedback about the use of the app. “’At Perkins…we accelerate innovation for people with disabilities by connecting entrepreneurs, technologists and organizations like Honda with real users for primary market research and user testing,’” explained Sandy Lacey, executive director of Perkins’ DisabilityTech community, the Howe Innovation Center. “’Scenic Audio supports our mission of creating a more accessible world for all by designing alongside and with the disability community.’” Dennis Gilliam, Ed.D, president of AIDB, noted that “’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.’” Honda plans to continue advancing this technology through testing to make it possible for more people to experience Scenic Audio and “enjoy the ride.” Find out more by reading the Honda Auto News piece announcing that the New AI-Based Honda Scenic Audio App will Help Make the Joy of the Journey Accessible to the Blind and Visually Impaired.