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EU project releases new app for travelers with reduced mobility

A European Union-funded project has launched a free smartphone application that helps people with reduced mobility with navigation over multiple modes of transport, orientation and parking. The app has been designed by the SIMON (Assisted Mobility for Older and Impaired Users) project and aids users within the project's test sites of Lisbon (Portugal), Madrid (Spain), Parma (Italy) and Reading (UK).

SIMON is a demonstration-oriented project aiming at promoting the independent living and societal participation of mobility-impaired people in the context of public parking areas and multiple transport modes, through the adoption of specific navigation information and access-rights management systems. One of the SIMON project schemes will enhance the European parking card for disabled people with contactless technologies, and will integrate mobile systems to support user-unique identification in existing parking meters, while preserving privacy.

SIMON will deploy four new service platforms supporting: access-right management for parking areas and public transport (SIMON SAYS platform); navigation and mobility assistance (SIMON ANSWERS platform); booking of reserved parking spots and information on the status of the parking spaces (SIMON BOOKS platform); and management of urban barriers such as bollards, to limit access to certain areas of the city in pedestrian zones, while granting access to users with reduced mobility (SIMON OPENS). These services will feed three applications: a mobile application for citizens (SIMON LEADS); a mobile application for parking controllers (SIMON CONTROLS); and a back office application for the public authorities, parking and transport operators, the SIMON Trusted Service Manager (SIMON TSM).

As the first of these sub-projects, the new application will not only include specific information and navigation functionalities, but will also make use of e-payment and e-identification mechanisms to propose coordinated tariff policies and reduce fraud. Called SIMON Mobile, the app gives access to important information, such as the location of parking spaces for disabled people and lifts and ramps at public transport stations. Integration with the new EU smart parking card for disabled drivers, which is also known as ‘Blue Badge’, means that SIMON Mobile users will be able to quickly validate parking and view their parking history with the app. This will help to reduce illegal parking in these spaces and keep them free for drivers who need them. SIMON Mobile users in the test cities can also apply to participate in further testing of the app to improve the functions for parking validation.

November 24, 2015

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