W. Narzt: Facilitating Utilization of Public Transportation for Disabled Persons by an Open Location-Based Travel Information System for Mobile Devices (VIATOR), 7 th International Conference on Mobile Ubiquitous Computing, Systems, Services and Technologies (UBICOMM 2013), Porto, Portugal, September 29 - October 3, 2013, ISBN: 978-1-61208-289-9, pp. 7-12, (Best Paper Award!) Thinkmind Digital Library: ubicomm_2013_1_20_10086.


In this paper we present an open and extensible platform for mobile devices that guides disabled (i.e., blind or physically impaired) persons on their journeys using public transportation. The main objectives of this platform are to (1) provide up-to-date travel information (i.e., connecting vehicles, schedules, and delays) across different transportation compa- nies, (2) automatically without manual interaction reroute to alternative transportation options if required, (3) visualize physical obstacles and offer hints for each particular target group (e.g., stairs vs. elevators for wheelchair users), and (4) provide an open interface for leaving and consuming self- created location-bound hints (e.g., blind people guide blind people). The platform is called VIATOR (lat.: “the traveler”) and has been developed in cooperation with three transporta- tion companies and three research institutes in Austria. This paper presents the technical architecture, shows first results of a prototypical implementation and gives user experiences from blind and mobility impaired people.