PERCEPT Indoor Navigation System for Visually Impaired: Beta Study


UMTC Research Affiliate Aura Ganz, of UMass Amherst, and Research Fellow James Schafer recently published their study.   The objective of the study, PERCEPT Indoor Navigation System for Visually Impaired: Beta Study, was to assist the MBTA to evaluate PERCEPT suitability for system wide deployment. This was undertaken as part of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Research Program.
Independent navigation through unfamiliar indoor spaces is beset with barriers for blind and visually impaired (BVI) individuals. A task that is spontaneous for people without disabilities has to be planned and coordinated with other individuals for the BVI population. Currently, there are no commercial systems that enable BVI users to independently navigate in indoor environments. Using real-time localization and detailed navigation instructions that are automatically generated, PERCEPT enables BVI users to independently navigate through large indoor venues, as demonstrated in trials in Boston’s North Station. This indoor navigation system would help BVI customers overcome barriers in navigating a complex MBTA transportation venue, to access the MBTA’s subway and commuter rail systems and promote an equitable culture that serves all customers fairly.