Security and Safety

Digital technology helps vision impaired navigate London subway

Posted on December 8, 2015

Photo: Transport for London/©Sophie Mutevelian
Photo: Transport for London/©Sophie Mutevelian

Blind and partially sighted people are trialling the Wayfindr digital navigation system at a major London Underground (LU) station for the first time.

Wayfindr — pioneered by the Royal London Society for Blind People's (RLSB's) youth forum and digital product studio, ustwo — uses beacon technology to guide vision impaired people through and around urban environments.

The trial guides participants through Euston Tube station, giving audio directions from a prototype smartphone app that interacts with beacons installed throughout the station. LU commissioned the trial to find out if the system can work reliably across the Tube network and to test and refine Wayfindr's standards for audio navigation. It builds on a pilot project at Pimlico station in early 2015, which led LU to invest in this full-scale demonstration at one of the busiest stations on the Tube network.



Through the RLSB, Wayfindr was awarded a $1m grant by Google.org in 2015 as part of the Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities program, which invites applications from projects that seek to solve problems for people living with disabilities, through technology. The grant will accelerate the work of Wayfindr over the next three years. Wayfindr will build on its experience in London to set the standard to make cities worldwide more accessible to the vision impaired. Having developed its expertise alongside LU, Wayfindr will begin trials in other urban settings, including retail environments and hospitals.

Photo: Transport for London/©Sophie Mutevelian
Photo: Transport for London/©Sophie Mutevelian
The Wayfindr Standard will launch in early 2016, setting the first guidelines for audio navigation for vision impaired people. The standard, developed through rigorous user research in live environments, will give location owners and makers of digital navigation services the tools to empower vision impaired people to independently navigate urban settings with the phone in their pocket. Compliance with the Wayfindr Standard will let vision impaired people know that a place or app is a reliable aid to independent travel.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

St. Louis Metro extends partnership with safety app, Noonlight

With the solution, any Metro passenger who feels uncomfortable or at risk can open the app and hold their thumb on the safe button.

Man arrested after holding bus driver hostage, demanding ride to Portland

The male passenger and female driver were the only people on the bus, with the driver able to hit an emergency alarm at some point.

Metra launches 'COPS' safety mobile app

The app automatically disables the user’s smartphone flash to ensure discretion, and reports can be made anonymously.

RTC of Southern Nevada showcases 'work zone of the future' tech

Demo included traffic cones, barrels, arrow boards, construction, and inspection vehicles — all outfitted with new tech that can communicate with passing vehicles and traffic engineers

SacRT among agencies recognized with TSA's Gold Standard Award

The recognition goes to agencies that achieve top scores during an annual review of 17 categories.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation