Driving experience for visually impaired drivers at BMW Driver Training
Sascha Schulze cannot see what he is doing. He has to feel the gear lever and change gear by touch, but he still grips the steering wheel resolutely with both hands. When he accelerates, goes round a corner and during braking, he experiences the force of gravity which pushes and pulls him. Sascha Schulze has been blind since birth. During his everyday life, a guide dog shows him where to go, today he is placing his trust in the BMW instructor who is sitting next to him in the vehicle and calmly telling him what he should do next. BMW Driver Training provides the opportunity for this unusual opportunity at the Munich Airport training site. There's lots of space to move around and the vehicle is equipped with pedals on the passenger side. This scenario provides the perfect framework for an unforgettable driving experience.
Sascha Schulze opens the door and is greeted by his dog. He summarises his impressions: "For me as a person who has been blind since birth, this is an incredible experience - just to sit behind the wheel myself. The freedom and mobility which the automobile gives people able to see is impossible for a blind person to achieve, even with public transport. There are lots of times when I've wanted to be able to drive at times and places when I want to. However, since that will never be possible for me, an event like driving for blind and visually impaired people offers the opportunity to at enjoy the feeling of freedom at the wheel of a car at least for a little while."
After driving themselves in a car, the participants get another surprise. The instructors at Driver Training invite them for a ride in the X5. The car climbs into an obstacle circuit with steep ups and downs, and tight bends. These are so steep that you cannot open the doors on the mountain side. The X5 still has adequate reserves even if the passengers are thinking: "This can't be possible". You might assume the same if you reflected on whether people with visual impairment would be able to drive - But this is possible!