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Enabling Accessibility: Introducing Honda Scenic Audio App

Honda Scenic Audio
  • Honda Scenic Audio is the world’s first AI-powered accessibility app to enhance journeys in motor vehicles for the blind and visually impaired
  • Innovative app developed in partnership Perkins School for the Blind’s global DisabilityTech community
  • App complements Honda’s long-standing commitment to helping the blind and visually impaired through local and corporate CSR efforts, including a three-decades long relationship with the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB)

Honda has developed an innovative web application utilizing 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.

Developed in partnership with Perkins School for the Blind’s Howe Innovation Center, the new Honda Scenic Audio app is the first AI-powered accessibility app built to enhance journeys in cars and other modes of transportationfor the blind and visually impaired.

“At Honda, through The Power of Dreams we apply our original technologies and ideas to realize mobility that enables our customers to enjoy life with more freedom, more convenience and more fun,” said Phil Hruska, Senior Manager, Honda Marketing. “By creating a detailed narrative of the roadside views during a scenic driving experience, the Honda Scenic Audio app can help to open imaginations and enhance the joy of car travel to blind and visually impaired passengers.”

Bringing Honda Scenic Audio to Life

The Honda Scenic Audio app uses a combination of computer vision, generative AI, satellite imaging, and a multitude of other technologies and sources, including geotargeting and weather reports, to create a meticulously detailed, scenic narrative of what is taking place outside of the car window on a road trip or scenic drive, going beyond the basics of dictating the scenery.

For the blind and visually impaired, audio descriptions in media and entertainment enable inclusive experiences. Honda Scenic Audio was built to create multifaceted narratives with a literary tone and expressive descriptions with nuanced adjectives, recognizable sounds, comparisons of heights and terrain and even the temperature outside.

Long-Standing Support of the Blind and Visually Impaired Community

Honda has long supported organizations in the blind and visually impaired community through its local and corporate CSR efforts, including the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB), a nearly 30-year Honda partner that is currently beta-testing the Scenic Audio app. Through these relationships, the Honda Scenic Audio app is now in beta-testing with members of the blind and visually impaired community, who will provide test and learn feedback. The Howe Innovation Center, a global DisabilityTech community, which is part of the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts in addition to collaborating on the app’s creation is beta-testing the Scenic Audio app.

“At Perkins School for the Blind, 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,” said 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. We are excited to collaborate on this project and applaud Honda for its leadership in creating inclusive auto experiences.”

“Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB) was founded on the premise that all individuals, regardless of exceptionality, should have opportunities to live limitless, independent, productive lives”, said Dennis Gilliam, Ed.D., President, AIDB. “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. AIDB is thrilled to bring our dedication to innovation and collaboration to this partnership with Honda to support the power of all individuals to make their dreams a reality.”

Honda is poised to continue advancing this accessibility technology through testing to enable more people in its communities to experience Scenic Audio and enjoy the ride. This includes members of Honda associates’ ENABLE Business Resource Group (BRG) that works to transcend conventional boundaries and strengthen diversity of abilities within and outside of Honda.

Source: Honda

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