Top of page
Technology

Researcher works to make city streets safer for people with vision disabilities

blind woman walking
Image: WeWalk

A University of Minnesota researcher is trying to make streets safer for pedestrians who are blind or have low vision.

Chen-Fu Liao, a researcher at the Center for Transportation Studies, is working to create an app that uses a Bluetooth system to help pedestrians who are blind or have low vision navigate city streets. Liao will be putting his work to the test in Stillwater this fall by installing the Bluetooth software at multiple intersections. He will begin the installations in the next several weeks.

Liao previously developed a signal that uses smartphone technology to send location and signal timing information to a pedestrian using a GPS signal, but he has found that GPS technology is not always reliable, which led him to work on the new system.

“We want to be sure the system is providing reliable and accurate information at the intersections to the general public that is accessible to all …. We want to see how this can be useful for people,” he said.

“We thought it was a good project with innovative ideas that we hope will benefit the visually-impaired community,” said Mike Fairbanks, signal operations engineer at MnDOT and the technical lead on the project.

You might also like

kid infront of computer screen kid infront of computer screen

UNMC’s Munroe-Meyer Institute introduces autism diagnostic tool

The UNMC Munroe-Meyer Institute is piloting a new diagnostic tool…

Hussein Alawieh, a graduate student in Dr. José del R. Millán's lab, wears a cap packed with electrodes that is hooked up to a computer. The electrodes gather data by measuring electrical signals from the brain, and the decoder interprets that information and translates it into game action. Hussein Alawieh, a graduate student in Dr. José del R. Millán's lab, wears a cap packed with electrodes that is hooked up to a computer. The electrodes gather data by measuring electrical signals from the brain, and the decoder interprets that information and translates it into game action.

Universal brain-computer interface enables thought-controlled gaming

Imagine playing a racing game like Mario Kart, using only…

woman with vision disabilities using computer with refreshable braille display woman with vision disabilities using computer with refreshable braille display

Software enables users with vision disabilities to create interactive charts

More and more tools are emerging to help users create…

Delhi HC directs JNU to provide hostel accommodation to blind student

The Delhi High Court on Monday instructed Jawaharlal Nehru University…