Collaboration aims to deliver safer urban mobility for the visually impaired

By Carla Giaume / Updated: 13 Mar 2023

The German micromobility operator, Tier, has recently partnered with app Lazarillo to improve the safety of urban mobility trips for blind and visually impaired people.

Tier is one of the largest multimodal micro-mobility operators in the world, while Lazarillo is an inclusive way-finding solution that aims to increase access for individuals with visual impairments with step-by-step audio guidance via the Lazarillo app, while also providing a modern mapping solution for organisations and businesses.

The partnership aims to help people with visual impairments by providing them with more predictable mobility conditions in urban spaces, thus improving their safety and comfort. Thanks to this collaboration, parked alerts for Tier's e-scooters have been added to the Lazarillo app. The app uses e-scooters' real-time location, as well as real-time users’ reports on pavement safety. The integration of these data into the Lazarillo app will provide blind and visually impaired people with additional information about their surroundings, including the location of parked e-scooters. As a result, Lazarillo app users are able to use the safest route to their destination. 

Not only will this innovative solution improve people’s navigation throughout the city, but it will also support Tier’s decision-making process regarding its e-scooter location, making it more inclusive for all. Thanks to this collaboration, Tier will take users’ suggestions to improve the strategic location of its e-scooters to make sure that they do not represent an obstacle to people’s free movement and safety in the city.

The next step of the collaboration aims to predict how safe a route is for people with visual impairments, by collecting data from different sources on e-scooter location, urban and road infrastructure, trip hazards, and so on, which will enable the rating of safety on different routes. The pilot will be carried out in Italy, starting at the end of 2023.

Ultimately, the partners of the project aim to extend it to improve the safety and mobility of all people, including those with reduced mobility.

Original article published by on 17 February 2023.

Photo Credit: © Poppy Pix - no permission to re-use image(s) without separate licence from Shutterstock.

Southern Europe
Transport for people with reduced mobility