Honda’s Scenic Audio app gives vibrant real-time descriptions for visually impaired car passengers

The app uses AI and other technologies to narrate scenes with colorful language

Published On
Apr 15, 2024
Visually impaired person using Honda Scenic Audio

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Drivers have plenty of options when it comes to navigation apps, from Waze to Google Maps. Now, one automaker is getting into the navigation game with an inclusive approach that is more about describing scenes than dictating directions.

Honda on Friday unveiled Honda Scenic Audio, which uses AI tech to describe the views outside the car in real time. The app, developed in partnership with Perkins School for the Blind's Howe Innovation Center, caters to blind and visually impaired passengers. Honda digital marketing agency VML was also involved.

 

The app uses computer vision, generative AI, satellite imaging and other technologies, 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,” according to the automaker.

At a special website, Honda provided examples of descriptions, including this one that narrates a drive along Lake Shore Drive in Chicago: “We’re cruising along Lake Shore with the vastness of Lake Michigan on our right, its large expanse merging with the blue horizon. Freshly leafed green trees, stripped by winter, line the road, patiently waiting for summer to fully clothe them. Tall buildings rise up ahead, creating a striking contrast against the vibrant clear sky. The lakefront path invites strollers and cyclists despite the brisk wind whipping off the lake. Ahead, the street bends, promising more of this urban meets nature tableau.”