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DfT funds tech projects for disabled travellers


Mark Say Managing Editor


Five projects using technology to support disabled travellers have received funding from the Department for Transport (DfT).

Disability sticker on train door

It has announced the allocation of almost £600,000 from this year’s Accessibility Transport Research and Innovation Grant (TRIG: Accessibility), run in partnership with the Connected Places Catapult.

DfT said the projects are focused on removing the barriers disabled people face when using public transport.

One of the projects, from Chrome Angel Solutions, is using virtual reality simulation to immerse users in rails stations and carriages. This is aimed at helping staff understand the challenges faced by passengers, and build the confidence of disabled travellers.

The BriteWay project from Briteyellow is developing a journey planning and station navigation system that takes the user from their front door to their destination, taking into account any special requirements and enabling them to make video calls to staff for support.

Ostrum Tech is developing the Purple Flow platform for disabled air travellers; You Smart Thing has the Travability project for planning journeys on public transport through multiple operators; and SightCall is working on TravelAssist, bringing together two existing technology platforms for a complete travel assistance service.

The trial periods for the projects are set to run until November, following which prototypes will be showcased to the industry.

Accessibility Minister Chris-Heaton Harris MP said: “These five innovative projects will help make our transport network more open, stress-free and simple for disabled passengers, and I’m proud that we’re investing in unique technology to improve accessibility across the UK.

“We’re committed to making transport accessible for all and this investment, along with the Inclusive Transport Strategy, will build a better, fairer network for the future.”

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0


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