Navigating In The Dark was a semester-long project. In January of 2023 our teams report is being turned into a conference paper for HFES 2023 to ShowsBee.
Age-related macular degeneration is a leading cause of blindness worldwide and is one of many limitations for older adults to drive independently. Fully autonomous vehicles present a prospective solution for those who are no longer capable of driving due to low vision, however accessibility features must be implemented to create a safe and effective experience for users with vision impairment to maintain a sense of control. Using a combination of semi-structured user interviews and Wizard of Oz prototyping, our research team created and modified a prototype to aid passengers with age-related macular degeneration to travel comfortably and remain in control while riding in a fully autonomous vehicle. The final design prototype includes a voice-activated navigation system with three levels of detail to bolster situational awareness, a 360˚ in-car camera to detect both the passenger and objects in front of the vehicle, a retractable microphone for the passenger to be easily registered in the car while speaking, and a physical button on the console-side of the right and left front seats to manually activate the navigation system.
(Team members: Lashawnda, Kristy, Nia, Melanie, Jennifer, & Jana).