February 22, 2024

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Philadelphia challenge looks to use AR to improve transit accessibility

3 min read

Dive Brief:

  • The town of Philadelphia is seeking strategies on means it can use augmented truth (AR) technologies to make its Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) public transportation process additional available for people today with disabilities.
  • The city’s good metropolis arm, SmartCityPHL, reported the “SEPTA for All: Augmenting Transit with Augmented Fact” challenge seeks proposals that deal with any phase of a transit journey, like trip preparing or traveling to a destination. Programs are due August 2.
  • The open software procedure will initial gather tips, then a panel of judges will pick out up to 12 semifinalists to current their thoughts at a digital pitch event. Up to six teams will go to the closing round and obtain smaller grants to establish performing prototypes of their tips. Winning teams picked from all those six finalists will get a whole of far more than $35,000 in income prizes and will pilot their idea with SEPTA and the town.

Dive Perception:

In a website article detailing the problem, SmartCityPHL Pitch and Pilot Fellow Joanna Hecht said it is created to feel outside of the expectations established by the Individuals with Disabilities Act (ADA) and make use of the emerging AR engineering to enhance the transit working experience for individuals with disabilities. Hecht claimed the Pokemon Go activity application is one case in point of AR use, but AR can be valuable over and above video games and could as an alternative be employed to support “access, equity, and expense performance.” 

Federal and community governments have built some latest notable attempts to boost accessibility in metropolitan areas, on the other hand, many troubles nonetheless remain.The All Stations Accessibility System Act of 2021 would provide $10 billion in federal funding to be certain transit and passenger rail stations are accessible. Chicago piloted a tool in 2018 to help towns evaluate how accessible digital and clever companies are for individuals with disabilities, helping planners track development. In the meantime, other towns are evaluating approaches sidewalks can be a lot more accessible to these with disabilities.

Incapacity groups explained the obstacle is vital presented the job public transportation plays in supporting individuals go about their each day lives. “It really is mission-crucial that community transit is obtainable to riders with disabilities,” Darren Bates, president and CEO of Clever Metropolitan areas Library, which advocates for available and inclusive sensible towns, reported in an e-mail. “Just about every day, people today with disabilities count on general public transit to complete day-to-day duties like getting to get the job done, school, procuring, medical appointments, recreation, and extra.”

The problem also invites people today with disabilities to share their experiences with navigating general public transit through an on the internet survey. All those effects will be shared at a kickoff function later this month to enable notify thoughts. Bates explained the local community engagement portion of the obstacle is essential, supplied the disabled rights community’s collective motto: “Very little about us without having us.”
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AR and other rising technologies can unquestionably support make public transit far more obtainable and user-helpful for people today with disabilities, according to Bates, as very long as all those technologies are educated, developed, and co-made with people today with disabilities. 

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