banner showing user module of OnBoard System

About OnBoard

Public transport is the only viable mobility option to seek education, work and social connectivity for a majority of blind and visually impaired persons. They face major difficulties in independently accessing public buses since they cannot read the route number and are unsure about the physical location of the bus and its entry/exit door. Despite constantly seeking help from sighted fellow travelers, blind persons frequently miss their desired bus, are unable to reach the entry gate and frequently get hurt in the process. The possibility of these events adds to the fear and anxiety of the visually impaired traveler.

OnBoardTM offers a simple solution to this problem. It consists of consists of two modules: a mobile-llike hand-held user module, and a bus module installed inside the bus near the front door of each bus with a large speaker facing outwards. Both modules can wirelessly communicate with each other.

How it works?

Query
When user standing at the bus stop hears any bus approaching, they can get the route number of the bus by just pressing query button. Each bus on receiving the query will respond to the handheld device with their respective route numbers. On receiving these route numbers user module will read them out sequentially.

Selection
User can select the desired route by pressing select button when the desired bus number is read out by the module. This selection is sent to all the bus modules in the vicinity. But only the bus with the selected number will readout the route number on ithe speaker of teh bus module. Hearing the audio cue, the user can easily navigate himself towards the entry door of the bus without any external assistance .

infographics explaining the working of Bus Identification System
User Triggered
Completely User Triggered – removes need of any external assistance
image showing a user using the user module of onboard system
Independent Mobility
Improves mobility, gives independence & boosts self- esteem
image showing a user bording a bus from a bus stop without assistance
Easy Installation
Requires minimal modifications on the bus
image showing bus module mounted on bus
Suited to all traffic conditions
Suited to traffic conditions of many developing countries where multiple buses simultaneously arrive and line up arbitrarily at a crowded bus stop
Adaptable
Adaptable to be used for trams, trains, metro rails etc.
Useful to all
Useful for senior citizens and individuals with low-vision

Journey

2011-2014

Extensively tested on IIT Delhi and Delhi University buses by 20 users
Tested under real traffic conditions with IIT bus at real bus stops
Users successfully identified the bus and boarded it independently in noisy conditions with heavy traffic
On Delhi Integrated Multi Modal Transit System Ltd. (DIMTS) buses, field trials conducted on five public buses running on one route.
Twelve users cumulatively attempted 100 boarding’s over the three months
Success rate of more than 94% successful boarding was recorded

2015-2017

In collaboration with XRCVC and Mumbai first, field trials conducted on Mumbai BEST buses
In phase 1, 100 supervised boardings were recorded with 35 visually impaired people
16 buses on two route numbers 121 and 134
In phase 2, 350 unsupervised boardings with 20 visually impaired people on 24 buses covering the same two routes
Overall feedback
Device miniaturization based on user feedback ; improved design for aesthetics, ergonomics and antenna performance.