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Friday, 08 March 2013

Driving for All

INNOVATION:  CPUT unveils the first ever locally-engineered prototype car adapted for driving by people with disabilities during the Disability Drive Expo

True to its vision of being at the heart of technology education and innovation in Africa, CPUT unveiled the country’s first prototype car adapted for driving by people with disabilities.

The prototype was designed and developed by CPUT innovators, Professors Oscar Philander and Mugendi M’Rithaa, and is the first ever locally-engineered prototype car to feature joystick engineering.

The duo led a team of six postgraduate students from their respective departments who built the car’s simulator.

The prototype was unveiled by Vice-chancellor, Prof Vuyisa Mazwi-Tanga and Sesi Mahlobogoane, Social Inclusion and Equity Director in the Department of Higher Education and Training, during the Disability Drive Expo which was held on the Bellville Campus.

The vehicle will open a world of affordable and accessible driving opportunities for disabled persons in South Africa and the technology is hailed by the disability industry as enthusing disabled people to drive.

The prototype can be adapted to suit a wide range of disability needs.

The project was inspired by Nicky Abdinor, a Clinical Psychologist born without arms, and is supported by the Disabled People Inclusion Institute.

Abdinor drives a specially adapted vehicle that was developed in the UK and uses joystick steering technology.

By Kwanele Butana

Written by CPUT News