Waymap reportedly scored the US debut of a self-titled app designed to guide vision-impaired people through public transport systems three months after joining a Verizon start-up accelerator programme focussed on services for people with disabilities.
Reuters reported the app went live in a trio of underground rail stations in Washington, D.C., employing the motion sensors already fitted on smartphones rather than mobile data, GPS, or any external signals.
The app employs the sensors to provide detailed mapping data, detect the user’s location and offer audio navigation instructions with an accuracy of up to three feet.
Waymap founder Tom Pey, who is visually impaired, commented Waymap “turns your mobile phone into a precision navigation device”, emphasising “mobility is not a luxury”.
Additionally, Pey urged pedestrians in the city without visual disabilities to use the app to help fine tune the maps and directions.
Waymap aims to launch in 30 underground stations and nearly 1,000 bus stops by September, with the aim of covering the city’s entire Metrorail network by early 2023.