In travel situations, blind and visually impaired people often lack basic information. This makes independent orientation difficult. In a feasibility study, we were able to design a guidance system with context-based audio notifications in cooperation with regional public transport. The idea behind it: Users should be able to find out which tram line is currently in front of them by using their smartphone.
In the three-year follow-up project “OpenData2Guide ScaleUp” (in short: “ScaleUp”), we are now focusing on testing a prototype platform and its scalability. Once again, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is supporting us. The central focus is the research of an audio chatbot. The audio chatbot will play out existing open data in a barrier-free way via smartphone and enables orientation at stops or stations, for example. To generate new open data for route guidance in public transport, we are planning “Mapathon” events in various cities.
The project is carried out together with our research partner meng. As consortium leader, we analyze the user requirements, develop software components and test the prototype. meng GmbH, which specializes in analog orientation and guidance systems, is developing a hardware prototype.
Kick-off and outlook
The starting signal for “ScaleUp” has been given: In our virtual kick-off meeting, the partners exchanged ideas about project goals, approach and organization. Together, we discussed the use of various open data and digital inclusion. The next step in the project is a requirements analysis, which we will develop together with stakeholders.
At this point, we would like to invite you to our upcoming Mapathon events. If you are interested in getting involved in the project, please feel free to contact us!