Technology

Moovit adds augmented reality to app to boost accessibility of transit

Posted on February 7, 2020

Mobility as a Service (MaaS) solutions company Moovit announced the beta release of Way Finder, a feature that leverages augmented reality (AR) to better locate stops and stations and increase users’ confidence while using public transit.

Developed based on user feedback, Moovit is using the power of AR to display digital directions on top of real-world images and help point the way for users to easily get to their destination.

Commuters that aren’t intuitive with directions may often find themselves walking the wrong way at first when navigating an unfamiliar place, like when exiting the subway. Many people simply find themselves at the wrong bus stop on the other side of the street.

Such was the case with a loyal Moovit user who left her feedback on a humorous Facebook page, garnering lots of attention: “A feature that I need for Moovit: Cross the street, stupid. This isn’t the right side.” Taking this feedback seriously during Moovit’s 24-hour hackathon, dubbed Moovithon, Moovit developers created the beginnings of Way Finder.

Now rolling out to iOS users around the globe, Way Finder places digital directions and signs on top of the camera view to make it even easier to locate correct bus stops, subway entrances, and overall extra guidance. Future capabilities include pointing users toward taxi pick-up points and shared scooter locations.

Using Way Finder is easy. Once a user inputs a destination and selects a Suggested Route, they then:

  • Tap on the “Navigate” button to start Live Directions
  • Tap on the blue Way Finder button
  • Hold the phone up to the surrounding environment and Way Finder will begin

In Way Finder mode, the top half of the screen displays icons, and signs overlaid on a live camera view, with left and right turn arrows to indicate direction. The bottom half of the screen shows where a user is on the map from a bird’s eye view. When the phone is faced down, the screen will switch to map view only.

Moovit utilizes several layers of guidance, empowering users to get to their destination with confidence and peace of mind. Once a user selects a route, they can click on “Navigate” to enter the Live Directions screen where they will be provided with step-by-step navigational instructions. Users can choose to turn on “Get off alerts,” to be notified before it’s time to get off at the bus or train stop. Now, with Way Finder, users will be able to better orient themselves when looking for their stop or station.

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