19 Nov Moovit, Microsoft and Aira Just Made Public Transportation …
Public transportation in cities across the world is the lifeline to jobs, education, healthcare and other major aspects of daily life. However, for thousands of blind and low vision residents, navigating the public transportation system can be a very challenging task. Whether it’s the uncertainty of catching the right bus or the subway signs not being in Braille, this population is faced with unique obstacles when traveling to desired destinations.
Today, November 19, Moovit, the leading Mobility as a Service (MaaS) solutions company and the maker of the world’s #1 urban mobility app, announced its partnership with Microsoft and Aira to challenge these obstacles and make public transit more accessible and inclusive, empowering blind and low vision riders to travel with more confidence. Aira is a technology company devoted to enhancing the lives of people with vision impairments by pairing them with highly-trained professionals who provide visual descriptions on demand. Aira provides full service in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
“We’re excited to start this partnership with Moovit and Microsoft Azure Maps, and we aim to work together for a long time,” said Mike Randall, Aira’s CEO. “We’re perfectly aligned in our mission to make communities smarter and transit more inclusive. Azure Maps, powered by Moovit’s mobility services, provides a more efficient and reliable navigational tool for our agents, which in turn helps us deliver a best-in-class user experience.”
Through its mobile app or smart glasses, Aira connects users to its agents who can see a users’ environment through their smartphone camera. Then, the agents describe objects, read signage, take and label photos, and more. Now, through this partnership, Aira agents can also help users navigate public transit more effectively with better, real-time data.
Utilizing Microsoft’s Azure Maps, Aira agents can access efficient and reliable navigational tools to assist users in getting to their destination. The solution, powered by Moovit’s Transit APIs to provide transit planning and navigation, enables agents to view and obtain information on multimodal trip planning, transit routes, and itineraries. Through the richness of Azure Maps and its integration with the mobility information and navigation that Moovit provides, Aira agents can now provide users with navigation guidance for their journey, ultimately delivering the optimal user experience.
“The belief that mobility is a basic human right for everyone is the motivation behind this partnership,” said Yovav Meydad, Moovit’s Chief Growth and Marketing Officer. “Together, with Aira and Microsoft, we are aiming to make public transit more accessible and inclusive to blind and low vision riders. This will open opportunities for riders to travel more freely and independently, significantly impacting their life.”