Dan Parker wants to set a new Guinness World Record for “fastest speed for a car driven blindfolded” and plans to make his attempt behind the wheel of a modified Chevrolet Corvette.
Parker lost his vision when he crashed his 1963 Corvette into a wall at a dragstrip in 2012 and to secure a new world record, he will need to surpass the current record of 200.5 mph (322.6 km/h) held by Mike Newton in the UK. Parker has some big names who will help him in his attempt, including Cruise, the self-driving car division of General Motors.
The C6 Corvette that will be used in the record attempt has been modified to deliver 800 hp and includes a bespoke guidance system that provides Parker audible feedback. He has already driven the car to over 150 mph (240 km/h).
“Of course, for me the blindfold will not be necessary,” Parker said in a recent interview with Auto News. “My 2008 Corvette is a purpose-built race car and I designed every aspect of it. With the work of the Blind Driver Challenge, we will not only demonstrate that a blind person can drive a vehicle safely, but that we can do it at over 200 mph. Together we hope to inspire blind people and to demonstrate our capacity, make history by setting a new world record and show the potential of new technology like self-driving cars to help blind people break barriers in everyday mobility.”
Parker wouldn’t be able to make his high-speed runs without the help of his team. In fact, they are instrumental in each drive as they complete a test run to define a centerline that is used to plot coordinate points. Parker then relies on audio cues to tell him where he is in relation to this centerline at any given moment.