Today, passengers quite often plan their journeys with the help of electronic media. Modern apps display real-time departure times or indicate delays but they do not take into account the specific mobility demands of people with visual, hearing or mobility impairments. INIT’s award-winning travel assistance system, ASSISTIVEtravel makes a major contribution to achieve genuine inclusion.
First, users define their specific needs in their profile settings. Based on these settings, the app activates various functions and adapts the user interface accordingly. Navigation is simplified for visually impaired users and optimized using text-to-speech functionality. In addition, the visually impaired profile triggers external vehicle announcements at the desired boarding stop. For hearing-impaired passengers, the internal announcements in the bus informing passengers about the next stop are transmitted to their hearing aids.
The approach of including bus drivers in the assistance system is unique. Before each stop, their on-board computer shows them whether passengers with special needs wish to board or alight and what restrictions they have. This allows them to inform passengers with reduced mobility about whether the wheelchair space is available and means they can assist with boarding or alighting. The app was developed in the MAVIS test project in Singapore together with LTA Singapore and SG Enable, an organization dedicated to the integration of people with disabilities.