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– Successful test project of a mobility assistance for people with visual impairment
Highly industrialised and innovative at the same time – this is Singapore, this year’s setting of the ITS World Congress, taking place 21 – 25 October 2019. The Asian island state is not only the leading financial center of the region, but is also a model state in the field of mobility. This will be demonstrated at the ITS World Congress – together with init. The Land Transport Authority (LTA), the supreme transport authority in Singapore, and the Karlsruhe telematics specialists have successfully implemented a pilot project that has attracted worldwide attention and won awards: With MAVIS, people with handicaps, especially the visually impaired, can use the public transport systems more comfortably, better and more self-determined in everyday life.
How innovative public transport really is can also be seen in the way it responds to the requirements of people with special mobility needs. And here, too, Singapore is one step ahead of other high-tech countries. In a trial project exclusive to Singapore named MAVIS (an acronym for "Mobility Assistance for Visually Impaired and Selected Users") visually, hearing and mobility-impaired riders can plan their bus trips independently in a barrier-free smartphone app developed by init in cooperation with the Land Transit Authority Singapore. This is possible on a specific bus line in a number of regular buses, which have the trial system installed.
ASSISTIVEtravel eases mobility
Users of the app adjust their settings according to their kind of disability. The functions are then exactly adapted to their type of restriction. For example, passengers with impaired vision receive acoustic signals for the planned and current journey, whereas travelers in wheelchairs are informed whether there is enough space for them on the next bus. Registered passengers are shown the journey of the desired bus, i. e. they can see in real time when their bus will come. They can also conveniently view the real-time position of the bus.
The MAVIS project attracted attention far beyond Singapore’s borders: init and LTA received both the UITP Award in the category "Diversity & Inclusion" and the UITP Asia Pacific Special Recognition Award at the UITP Global Public Transport Summit in Stockholm. init CSO, Dr Jürgen Greschner, takes pride in the successful project: "With the MAVIS project and the subsequent launch of the ASSISTIVEtravel app, we facilitate access to public transport for mobility impaired people. We hope that with ASSISTIVEtravel we will be able to make mobility easier for many people worldwide".
With a daily ridership of more than 7.5 million, public transport plays an essential role in the city’s infrastructure. Intelligent approaches are in demand – just like init’s solutions concerning mobility platforms, smart ticketing or automatic passenger counting as well as deployment and management of electric vehicles, all showcased at the ITS World Congress in Singapore.
Open mobility platforms will contribute to the goal of reducing individual car traffic and the resulting emissions, so will smart ticketing solutions by easing the access to public transport. In Singapore, init will show successful smart ticketing projects from Europe and North America.
Riders in the greater Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area (USA) can choose from a whole range of different payment options. Besides paper tickets they can pay for fares contactless using a credit or debit card, a mobile wallet such as Apple Pay or Google Pay, a virtual smart card within Google or Apple Pay or a physical smart card. The clearing is happening in the init back-office system, MOBILEvario. Birmingham-based National Express West Midlands (NXWM, United Kingdom) also chose MOBILEvario as back-office system for their smart ticketing system enabling contactless payments by bank and credit cards. This required an in depth EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) accreditation to achieve full compliance with VISA and Mastercard’s latest transport implementation guidelines. The EMV Level 2 accreditation for this project was the first in the UK.
Crowd management more and more important
Not only in the Asian mega cities is crowd management becoming increasingly important for public transport. It is primarily about safety aspects, but also about improving service quality and enhancing the efficiency of mobility systems. A better distribution of the passengers within crowded trains must be a major goal. The MOBILE-APC technology goes far beyond planning processes and statistical analysis: the accurate information on the actual passenger load of each train car is transferred in real time to the next stations‘ platform doors to indicate where there will be space. Passengers can be informed through other means as well, for example through apps. The APC solution from init even takes into account the situation that occurs after new passengers have boarded. With this new method, already patented in the US, init provides exact information that significantly improves passengers‘ travel experience, but also reduces dwell times und minimizes safety hazards.
Another trend in public transport worldwide is the rising importance of electro-mobility. As a pioneer and only supplier on the market, init offers a comprehensive solution that integrates all operational processes for the deployment of electric buses. From route planning and dispatching to range prediction, to management and monitoring of the charging processes to analyses and reports. The driver receives real-time feedback as well, which will help him develop an energy-saving driving style.