The ASSISTANT Project contributes to maintaining the mobility of older people in Europe, in order to safeguard their social and economic participation in an increasingly ageing society. It does this by helping them to travel safely and independently by public transport, and enabling them to relax and enjoy the journey whilst doing so. ASSISTANT provides an on-line means of planning a trip, guidance on transfers when making multi-step journeys, an alert which tells the user when it is time to leave the vehicle, and assistance with getting from the vehicle to the final destination. Essentially, the project will offer seamless support for the entire length of a journey, across different means of public transport and in both rural and urban environments. The target group for ASSISTANT is essentially mobile older people, but the system will be designed so that it is accessible for all potential users.
- Discovering and better understanding users' needs, constraints and barriers to use, in order to draw up the requirements for ASSISTANT's services;
- Providing solutions for specific research challenges including telematics and context data integration, error tracking and remediation, and route creation "on the fly";
- Highlighting users' perceptions, ensuring that the proposed solution will meet the needs and requirement of the target public;
- Dissemination of the results of the ASSISTANT project, and ensuring the successful exploitation of its outputs
The system will use simple, but effective and robust, technology which can be accessed using a home computer and a mobile ‘phone, and provides only information that is relevant at a particular time, using visual, audible and haptic cues. ASSISTANT will show the user which vehicle to board, indicate the vehicle’s arrival, and provide an alert when it is time to get off. The system will also have the capacity for detection and correction of any errors the user makes on a journey, and will be customised according to the precise needs and preferences of each user. Where location data are absent, the positioning of both the user and public transport vehicles will be estimated using a prediction function.
The project’s end-product will be a purchased application which is supported by a maintenance service, sold by the application producer, providing maps and up to date-timetable information.