Innovative Practices 2014 on Accessibility

Accessible travel on public transport in Austria

The ways4all project facilitates the use of public transport for persons with special needs, especially blind people. The result is an accessible application for mobile devices that combines indoor and outdoor navigation, traffic information, communication with public transport services, and intuitive operation.

“Blindness is an information disability and not a mobility disability – therefore, it can (almost) be fully offset by sufficiently good information management in mobility issues.”

Werner BISCHOF
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:ways4all
Organisation:FH JOANNEUM GmbH
Country
of origin
Austria
Beneficiaries targeted Persons with visual impairments
Approach/ model/ solution:Research, public transport navigation system

FACTS & FIGURES

  • 2011: nominated for the IID Award (International Institute for Information Design, Taipei, October 2011)
  • 2012: nominated for the ‘Fast Forward’ award (Styria)
  • ways4all started in 2008 and consists of four projects: ways4all, NAVCOM, ways4all_complete, ways4me (in progress)

PROBLEMS TARGETED

Persons with visual impairments often rely on known physical landmarks to help locate and verify bus or tram stops and train station locations when using public transportation services.

PROJECT

ways4all offers visually impaired and blind people a solution to the problem of navigating the public transport system. The emphasis of the research project is on the door-to-door service, which assists users in navigating the city while changing from one transport mode to another. The mobile user interface combines outdoor navigation via GPS with indoor navigation via passive RFID tags and a tool for direct communication with the public transport system which enables a person with a visual impairment to register his/her point of departure to inform the driver accordingly.

CURRENT SITUATION & OUTLOOK

The app for mobile devices is currently being expanded to include electronic timetable information and barrier-free ticket purchasing for Austria. The project is supported by the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) and Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG).

149_ways4all_FHJOHANNEUM_fotoways4all offers visually impaired and blind people a solution for navigating public transport systems. (photo: Werner Bischof)
CONTACT

Mr. Werner BISCHOF
FH JOANNEUM Kapfenberg
Werk-VI-Straße 46, 8605 Kapfenberg, Austria
+43 (0)3862 33600-8307
werner.bischof@fh-joanneum.at
www.ways4all.at

EXPERT VOTING

voted   Top marks for: Access to cities

Nominated by: Mr. Walter WASNER, Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT)

DOWNLOAD THE FACT SHEET IN PDF