Disability news

Innovative launched to assist disabled travellers

Isle of wight ferry ports

The government has announced plans to introduce personalised apps to assist disabled passengers and robots for freight at ports.

It’s just one of 67 innovative projects developing transport technology which will receive a share of £1.96 million in funding under the Transport Research and Innovation (TRIG) Programme.

The projects which will receive funding include:

  • An app that uses augmented reality (AR) to help visually impaired passengers get around rail stations
  • Remote-controlled robots for deliveries
  • Kite-powered tug boats to reduce emissions
  • Drones to deliver packages in hard-to-reach areas

The TRIG programme has been launched to inspire engineers, academics and innovators to develop ‘blue-skies’ research into real-world solutions addressing transport's most pressing issues.

In turn this will not only help the economy grow, but also create new job opportunities across the UK.

Transport and Decarbonisation Minister Jesse Norman said: “From making travelling easier for visually impaired passengers to improving rural connectivity, these winning projects have the potential to transform the future of transport.

“The government wants the UK to be a world leader in the future of transport and, through the TRIG programme, the Department for Transport is supporting innovators and businesses to decarbonise and improve transport while growing the economy and supporting jobs across the UK.”

Some of the projects funded by the programme include:

  • Makesense Technology to create an app that uses augmented reality to create bespoke walking routes to help travellers with vision loss navigate around railway stations
  • Transreport Limited to create an app that allows disabled and older passengers to book the support they need on planes in advance to improve the experience. This app is already in use on trains
  • Imperial College London to research the use of Kiacrete – a new type of paving made from recycled materials – instead of concrete, as a more permeable solution to see how it can be used on highways to drain away surface water and reduce flooding

Nicola Yates OBE, Connected Places Catapult, Chief Executive Officer, said: “By getting funding into innovative start-ups, we are creating jobs of the future and growing vital areas of the economy.

“Transport Research and Innovation Grants support high-potential innovators to develop their ideas into new products and services.

“In addition to an injection of funding, companies that join the TRIG cohort benefit from access to experts from Connected Places Catapult to help them on their journey to commercialisation.

[ A record number of this year’s winning projects are based outside London, with almost 4 in 5 based outside the capital. ]

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