The project series "ways4all" directed by FH JOANNEUM included four projects designed to help blind people on public transport using mobile phone technologies.
Finding your way around urban public transport hubs is not easy. It is vastly more difficult for blind and visually impaired people to get their bearings at railway stations or tube stations where several train lines meet. The best route through the building and information about connections and delays are often not easily accessible.
All public transport info on one blind-friendly app
Under EU guidelines all German transport companies must step up their efforts to become more disabled accessible by 2016. By 2022, local public transport operators have to achieve full disabled access. Similar deadlines apply for Austria. This is were the ways4all project comes in; its aim was to send information about local public transport and navigation through railway stations to people's smartphones using an app that is tailored to the needs of blind and visually impaired people.
The extensive project took six years to complete and was divided into four subprojects:
The subproject ways4all was about route guidance in public transport and indoor navigation.
NAVCOM dealt with the communication between the app user and the public transport vehicle and with indoor navigation.
ways4all complete covers navigation (indoor and GPS) and the user interface.
ways4me combined the results of ways4all in a final project. Topics: indoor and outdoor navigation, access to transport information, communication with public transport, ticket purchasing and an intuitive app for visually impaired users of mobile devices.