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Extended Event Horizon Navigation and Wayfinding for Blind and Visually Impaired Pedestrians in Unstructured Environments

Project Information

Project ID: 
FHWA-PROJ-13-0082
Project Abstract: 

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 the person might 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. The 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 the person might 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.

Project Status: 
Completed
Project Funding Amount (Contract Award Amount): 
$599,945
Start Date: 
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
End Date: 
Thursday, December 31, 2015
Public Access Plan: 
No
FHWA AMRP Program: 
Exploratory Advanced Research
FHWA AMRP Activity: 
Human Factors Analytics
FHWA Activity: 
Human Factors

Contact Information

First Name: 
Jim
Last Name: 
Shurbutt
Phone Number: 
(202) 493-3420
Email Address: 
Team: 
Human Factors Team
Office:
Office of Safety Research and Development
Office Code: 
HRDS-30

Deliverables