Wheelchair navigation: Nothing like you have seen before

Wheelchair app

After changing the world for people to find the right routes, a new app is being launched in Portsmouth for physically disabled people. The app aims to help people with limited mobility to plan their travel routes with ease. The app is free and goes by the name Route4U. It is a handy pavement navigation app and information system. Wheelchair and pram users will be enabled to discover more accessible and safer routes throughout the city. 

First to witness

After seeing a successful pilot scheme, Portsmouth now has become the first city in the whole of Uk to launched this technology. The app, Route4U, is available on both Apple and Android. The Portsmouth City Council put in a good commission for the development of the app. The developers have worked closely with the council to map out the city’s pathways. 

Pam Turton, Assistant Director of Transport for the Portsmouth City Council, said, ‘I’m delighted that we can support people with limited mobility by introducing Route4U to the city. This new technology will have many benefits for people who visit, work and live here. The app gives people more flexibility over their journeys, saving them time and enabling them to live fuller, more productive lives. I hope that this free app will give people the confidence to travel independently and make them less reliant on their cars for short distances, saving them money and improving their wellbeing.’

How to Use

The app allows users to easily organize and plan their journeys using a route map and navigation system. It not only shows the way as the regular apps do but also indicates pavement obstacles, surface quality, kerb heights, widths, inclines and travel distances. Wheelchairs users benefit as it offers turn-by-turn navigation. The best thing about it is that it can be customized according to the needs and abilities of the person using it. 

Volunteers, including members of the Portsmouth Disability Forum, have been travelling around the city to inform the developers about pavement conditions and potential obstacles. Volunteers are either able-bodied people who report obstacles through the app or wheelchair users using their phone’s auto-survey function to collect data.

Tamas Szekely, CMO of Route4U, said, ‘The infrastructure in Portsmouth is surprisingly well-built compared with other European cities, but temporary obstacles and pavement defects over time are simply unavoidable. Users can upload a report in less than 30 seconds, saving a lot of struggling for wheelchair users.’

This app not only helps the disabled with travelling but also shows the way to the council for planning a better design for transport. This can be achieved by maintaining and improving pavement accessibility. Moreover, the analysis and decision support tool can take out the most problematics bottlenecks and put them in front of the council to better accommodate them. 

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1 COMMENT

  1. what a fab idea! As a wheelchair user I’ve lost track of the times I’ve been somewhere unfamiliar only to get to the end of a very long pavement and find there is no drop kerb. I will watch with interest to see how this progresses…

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