IBM Accessibility at CES 2017

At CES 2017, IBM Accessibility Research, Local Motors and the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) Foundation will be sharing how autonomous vehicles will help people with disabilities and the world’s growing aging population remain independent and self-sufficient for as long as possible

Image of "Olli", a self-driving vehicle from Local Motors. Olli is a bus with many windows.

Olli, from Local Motors, is the first self-driving vehicle to integrate the advanced cognitive computing capabilities of IBM Watson.

Hosted by Soledad O’Brien, award-winning journalist and CEO of Starfish Media Group, this session (Friday, January 6 from 1:30 – 2:15 pm, LVCC, South Hall Connector, Room S228) will examine how new technologies, such as cognitive computing and the Internet of Things, will personalize and adapt the transportation experience to each person’s unique abilities.

To help shape the future of accessible transportation, IBM Accessibility Research, Local Motors and the CTA Foundation are also launching a series of workshops and a hackathon to help identify innovations that will create the world’s most accessible, autonomous vehicle.

By leveraging innovative thinking from people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, including students from Carver Vocational-Technical High, a P-TECH school in Baltimore, Girls Who Code, universities, and the AARP, the goal is to help people with cognitive, vision, memory, or physical challenges leverage transportation to improve their independence and quality of life.

Some examples of potential innovations, include:

  • Automatic adjustments made to the vehicle if a wheelchair, cane or other device is used
  • Understanding sign language
  • Simplifying communication for those with cognitive disabilities
  • Image recognition to describe what is outside of the vehicle as you are driving

For those not able to attend CES, we also encourage everyone to share their thoughts via Twitter on other ways of instrumenting a vehicle to be more accessible to people of all abilities. Please use #AccessibleOlli.

Please also attend other IBM Accessibility Research speaking sessions at CES:

Why Accessibility Matters to Tech Leaders

January 5, 3:30 – 4:30 pm, LVCC, North Hall, N261

Join Ruoyi Zhou from IBM Accessibility Research to understand why companies from the very large to the very small are investing in technologies to improve the lives of older adults and people with disabilities. Learn why these companies are making these investments and how it can benefit your business.

Self-driving Cars will Aid Independent Living

January 6, 9:00 – 10:00 am, LVCC, North Hall, N258

Self-driving cars will enable easier and safer transportation for everyone. But two communities, people with vision loss and older adults, will benefit even more. Andrew Lahart from IBM Accessibility Research and experts from industry, academia and advocacy will share how this technology can enhance lives at work and play.

For more information:

  • Download the “Outthink Aging” study from IBM and the CTA Foundation that outlines the challenges of meeting the needs of the growing aging demographic

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