Innovative LBS for social/public dimension
Background & Objectives
The difficulties related to urban personal mobility are significantly growing and affect many citizens and businesses, which are confronted with traffic safety problems and limited accessibility of public transport. Disabled people feel these difficulties even more: a simple tour through the city can become a big problem in terms of autonomy, safety, decreasing human relations and quality of life.
In this context INCLUSION aims to build a solution capable of providing motor-impaired persons with the possibility of improving their mobility in safe conditions. Moving about is often subject to the presence of obstacles or barriers, or to the difficulty of reliably identifying a priori accessible routes. It is a fact that people in wheelchairs move only in limited environments, typically near their home.
The INCLUSION project will lead to the definition, design, implementation and testing of a set of applications matching the needs of people in wheelchairs. These applications shall foresee the need of a ‘safe’ information provision where the positions will be guaranteed and the user will be informed if data do not respect the defined integrity parameter. Using only a GPS signal is not sufficient to guarantee the required positioning performance because of its relatively poor accuracy and its fading in urban scenarios.
The roll-out of accuracy-critical applications like LBS for disabled persons are still delayed by the difficulties of matching GPS positioning with the performance requirements needed for these target users. Multipath and masking effects of urban canyons degrade the accuracy of GPS and increase geometric dilution of precision in receivers that operate in dense urban areas. Wheelchair users not only move on streets: they also cross squares, enter courtyards, wander in parks, stop, turn around, etc. For these reasons the implementation of an application for personal navigation for disabled persons is still a challenge and no current products exist on the market.
A consistent differentiator between INCLUSION and other existing solutions will be represented exactly by the implemented navigation functionalities, related to the use of future GNSS systems and their possible integration. For this purpose, ground-based infrastructures devoted to positioning augmentation will be adopted, including ‘EGNOS inside’ capabilities. This technology allows not only to decrease the time to the first fix and the location accuracy, but also to increase the location service availability, in very attenuated environments (urban canyons, light-indoor environments) answering in this way to the primary needs of disabled peoples’ mobility in safe conditions.
INCLUSION has the following objectives:
- to develop a location-based service (LBS) solution for motor-impaired people by delivering end-to-end functionalities where the users will be the most important actors in the whole process of design and development;
- to contribute to the adoption of innovative GNSS systems as well as of GNSS ground-based augmentation systems requested by LBS applications for disabled people;
- to analyse thoroughly all the business potentials for putting in place the commercial conditions of the INCLUSION product by identifying all the elements of a clear go-to-market approach;
- to widely promote and disseminate INCLUSION activities, which have the scope to increase the perceived value of potential stakeholders towards LBS dedicated to motor-impaired people.
Work performed & results
The primary effect of the INCLUSION solution is intended to be an improvement in the mobility of people with motor disability. They will be the first to benefit from the implementation of INCLUSION applications with a clear enhancement of their quality of life. The same is also valid for their families, who are also benefiting for the same reasons and subsequently their quality of life is also improved, being relieved by the burden of safeguarding those members. In parallel, the successful implementation and user acceptance of the INCLUSION solution will potentially lead to its wide and fast penetration in the LBS market, directly affecting the service and content providers.
Finally new business opportunities could derive by the introduction of INCLUSION applications, for example in the tourism and leisure market, which will become more accessible for disabled people. These persons represent a large and growing market in the EU, for both business and leisure travel. At the end of 2008, accessible tourism was the fastest growing business opportunity in the tourism industry. It is also a fact that the tourism industry needs to recognise that this business opportunity also includes the ever-growing older population, and see this unique market of people with disabilities as being very profitable.