Signalized Intersection Crossing for the Visually Impaired

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 1:30pm

About the Event

People with impaired vision generally have difficulty crossing intersections due to a lack of traffic information. In this seminar, Chen-Fu Liao discussed the development of a Mobile Accessible Pedestrian Signal (MAPS) system to help people with limited or no eyesight cross intersections safely. The system uses Global Positioning System receivers, digital compasses, and wireless networking to provide signal and intersection geometry information to smartphone users at signalized intersections. User interaction is a via a simple tactile input—a single or double tap on the smartphone's touchscreen—and a text-to-speech interface.

Liao also highlighted plans for an upcoming field experiment at a signalized intersection. As part of the test, several visually impaired pedestrians will evaluate the usability and cognitive load of using the MAPS application.

Watch video


Chen-Fu Liao is the senior systems engineer at the Minnesota Traffic Observatory. His research interests include transportation accessibility, adaptive signal priority strategies using wireless communication technologies, transit performance analysis and modeling, and developing web-based modules for transportation-related courses.