U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
202-366-4000


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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

Overview

 

Research and Development (R&D) Project Sites

 
Project Information
Project ID:   FHWA-PROJ-13-0082
Project Name:   Extended Event Horizon Navigation and Wayfinding for Blind and Visually Impaired Pedestrians in Unstructured Environments
Project Status:   Active
Start Date:  March 13, 2013
End Date:  July 31, 2015
Contact Information
Last Name:  Shurbutt
First Name:  Jim
Telephone:  202-493-3420
E-mail:  jimmy.shurbutt@dot.gov
Office:   Office of Safety Research and Development
Team:   Human Factors Team [HRDS-30]
Program:   Safety Innovation Deployment
Project detail
Project Description:   In order to create a seamless navigation solution for blind or visually impaired persons, the objective of this research is to assist a blind or visually impaired person in navigating through large unstructured environments that they encounter in the course of daily life: parks, parking lots, airports, sports arenas, intersections, and pedestrian zones in general. The research proposed here fills in the gaps where global positioning system (GPS) navigation is not sufficient.┬áThe full navigation system will integrate GPS, inertial measurement units (IMUs), and stereo visual odometry (SVO) to accurately capture the movements of the pedestrian user (direction and distance). In urban areas where GPS satellites are easily visible, commercial handheld GPS units provide a good navigation solution. Where some but not all needed GPS satellites are visible, situational awareness is further enhanced via implementing techniques in GPS-degraded positioning. Where GPS is not available at all (including indoor environments), IMUs and SVO provide sufficient positioning accuracy. Wireless information from pedestrian signals further enhances safety and mobility for the blind or visually impaired pedestrian.
Goals:  
In order to create a seamless navigation solution for blind or visually impaired persons, the objective of this research is to assist a blind or visually impaired person in navigating through large unstructured environments that they encounter in the course of daily life: parks, parking lots, airports, sports arenas, intersections, and pedestrian zones in general. The research proposed here fills in the gaps where global positioning system (GPS) navigation is not sufficient.
Test Methodology:   Laboratory Development and Field Evaluation
Expected Benefits:   Increased mobility, safety, and quality of life for visually impaired pedestrians.
FHWA Topics:   Safety--Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety
TRT Terms:   Pedestrian
Visually Impaired Persons
Wayfinding
Safety
Operations
Research
Global Positioning System
FHWA Disciplines:   Civil Rights
Safety
Subject Areas:   Operations and Traffic Management
Pedestrians and Bicyclists
Policy
Public Transportation
Research
Safety and Human Factors

 

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