You have to see to drive, right? Well, apparently not. Dan Parker is trying t set a new record for the fastest blind person to drive a race car without human assistance. Parker will likely attempt the drive this fall. In the meantime, he is working to figure out how to go fast without being able to see. He will do the run in a 2008 Corvette.
His team has created a guidance system that will use plotted points on the straight track that he will drive on to guide him along. Audio cues will tell him where he is at in terms of that centerline.
“Once they tell me the course is clear at the starting line, no one talks to me throughout the whole run,” Parker told Car and Driver. “The guidance system is doing everything.”
The system is also a safety system. It will shut the car down if he ventures 20 feet or more off the centerline. It will also deploy a parachute if he goes over 150 mph in testing. When he makes his actual run he will have to top 200.9 mph to set a new record.
Parker is no stranger to speed. In 2005 he was the American Drag Racing League’s pro nitrous champion. He would still be taking titles if it were not for the crash he had in his 1963 Corvette in 2012. That crash took his sight. He hit a concrete barrier at 175 mph. He’ll be going faster than that now.
His car is far from stock. It makes 570 hp at the rear wheels before the nitrous kicks in. The car also has 700-pound rear springs and 750-pound front springs from RideTech. The car also has Baer racing brakes and a full roll cage from Stormin Normand’s Custom Rollcages. There are also fire systems from Spa Techniques and Stroud Safety seatbelts, window nets, and a parachute. The car also has a special exhaust with three mufflers to ensure the vehicle is quiet enough for Parker to hear the guidance system. We wish Parker all the best in his attempt, and can’t wait to see what speed he hits.