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World’s first GPS app for blind and disabled bus riders


23 July 2012 - Researchers in Barcelona have created an app that may prove useful to riders of public transit who are blind, deaf or otherwise disabled. On The Bus hooks into GPS and transit data from a city and alerts the user where and when they need to board, signal and disembark.

 

While transit systems make some allowances for riders who may be unable to see or hear when the bus arrives, or they themselves have arrived at their stop, there are doubtless many riders who could use some additional help.

 

After checking a few routes with the user, the app will direct them to the nearest bus stop and inform them when their bus should be arriving. Once on, it will tell them how many stops they will be riding for, and tells them when to activate the "stop" cord or button. And once they've returned to the pavement, it continues guiding them to their destination with walking directions.

 Users don't have to type, either: The app will accept voice input or writing with symbols, and a separate interface was designed for people with severe visual impairment or total blindness.

 

The OnTheBus database currently supports buses in Barcelona, Madrid, and Rome, in several languages. The makers hope to expand it to other cities and languages. The app is available now for the Android operating system.

 

Learn more about the app

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