Honda’s US unit claimed its new Scenic Audio is the world’s first AI-powered accessibility app to enhance journeys in motor vehicles for the blind and visually impaired.

The innovative app was developed with Perkins School for the Blind’s global DisabilityTech community.

The automaker said the new 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).”

The innovative web application using AI technology helps “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”.

It is claimed to be the first AI powered accessibility app built to enhance journeys in cars and other modes of transport for the blind and visually impaired.

The Scenic Audio app uses a combination of computer vision, generative AI, satellite imaging, and other technology and sources, including geotargeting and weather reports, to create a 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. Scenic Audio was built to create multifaceted narratives with a literary tone and expressive descriptions with nuanced adjectives, recognisable sounds, comparisons of heights and terrain and even the temperature outside.

The Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind is currently beta testing the app. Members of the blind and visually impaired community will provide test and learn feedback.

The Howe Innovation Center, a global DisabilityTech community, part of the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts in addition to collaborating on the app’s creation is also beta testing the app.

Dennis Gilliam, president of AIDB, said: “Technology [such as the Scenic Audio app] has helped bridge the gap from reliance upon others to independent living and discovery.”