Ford has revealed a new prototype system, Feel The View, allowing people who are blind or highly visually impaired to experience their vehicle's surroundings.
The device sits on one of the car's windows. Via a button it captures a snapshot of the passing vista, and then converts the picture into a greyscale image.
When the user traces her or his finger across the window, the unit detects their position on the captured image, and transmits a level of vibration corresponding to one of 255 shades of grey.
This way, the visually impaired are able to physically feel the passing scenery the rest of us experience with our eyes. There's also an AI voice assistant, which can provide more context for the surroundings the user is feeling on the window.
The technology was developed by Ford Italy, GTB Roma, and Aedo, a start up company specialising in technology for the visually impaired.
It's not known how close to production Feel The View is, or if its inventors plan to turn it into a product.
This cost cutting measure will allow it to focus on developing higher margin crossovers and SUVs, as well as electric vehicles and new automotive technologies.