The above mentioned Webinars for Acoustic Systems for Information and Navigation , held on the 10, 18 and 27 November 2020, brought together a wide variety of experts – both from Institutions within the EBU, but also developers from an organization for the visually impaired, as well as manufacturers, who have been working in that field for years, and thus have detailed knowledge of what the real needs of our communities are.
Hearing is an important sense in our daily life and enables us to interact with our environment, objects and other persons. The sound signals deliver us several information. Therefore, hearing and vehicle sounds play an important role for the traffic safety. The timely detection of the vehicles by pedestrians is a prerequisite. However, electric vehicles move almost silently up to a speed of 20 km/h. In order to reduce this risk for all traffic participants including especially children, visually impaired and elderly persons, and cyclists, quiet vehicles should emit artificially generated sounds. For this purpose, standards have already been defined by various national and international authorities with regard to the sound character. The regulation of United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN Regulation No. 138 - ECE/TRANS/WP.29/2016/26) and US, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 141 are two of the most prominent.
The Swiss Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted SFB launched the app MyWay Pro, an orientation and navigation app optimised for visually impaired people.
The app is a successor of MyWay Classic using state of the art navigation-technology. Together with a growing group of test-users SFB identified the needs of blind and partially sighted users and launched the first release after two years of development in June 2020.
Blindrafélagið, the Icelandic Association of the Visually Impaired, has been looking into many different options in the past year regarding navigation and wayfinding solutions. This includes bluetooth beacon solutions with 3D mapping, audio beacons, tactile guidelines, NaviLens markers and other similar solutions.