Phil Kragnes

How could self-driving vehicles impact your life?

As someone who is blind and a dual Below Knee Amputee (BKA), self-driving vehicles could have a significant impact on both my personal and professional lives. Personally, the ability to travel to stores, events and appointments independently would reduce time demands/constraints and allow a degree of freedom enjoyed by non-disabled individuals. Professionally, I would worry less about getting to work in inclement weather — imagine dual prosthetics, snow and un-shoveled sidewalks, traveling to off-site events/activities, and missing out on professional development opportunities and other offerings of interest.

What concerns do you have about self-driving vehicles?

I am far more concerned about human operated vehicles in which drivers may be intoxicated or distracted. A very small concern is the possibility of computer hackers disrupting the system. On-board sensors, communication among vehicles and other data sources can only make roads and travel safer.

What is the first place you will want to go the first time you ride by yourself in a self-driving car?

I have an affinity for wolves but have yet to visit the International Wolf Center. So, Ely, Minnesota would definitely be at the top of my list.


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