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Smart City Technology for Individuals with Disabilities

Tappy Guide is a First/Last mile solution for the visually impaired, hearing impaired, senior citizens and those with mobility impairments

Photo of John Petrous
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2018 Ford City:One Challenge Semi-Finalist Grand Rapids

2019 Ford City:One Challenge Semi-Finalist Indianapolis

Transportation can be defined as traveling from Point A to Point B.  But how does an individual navigate to, or identify Point A? What happens after Point B? One of Mobility’s toughest challenges is providing a safe and simple solution to the First Mile/ Last Mile problem. Helping riders travel that short distance to or from a bus stop or a ride-sharing vehicle, Tappy Guide provides navigation to help locate and identify pick-up/drop-off locations, and building entrances/exits. We are the user-friendly technology that eliminates the First Mile /Last Mile problem such as true, point-to-point, demand-response service.

Tappy Guide is a mobile app that provides the first mile / last mile solution for the visually impaired, hearing impaired, senior citizens, and those with mobility impairments with real-time data and location.  We provide outdoor navigation for directions and discovery when exploring new surroundings. No matter where you are, Tappy Guide will lead you in the right direction.  

Tappy Guide provides outdoor and indoor navigation at participating businesses such as office buildings, grocery stores, sporting/concert venues, museums, hospitals etc.

OUTDOOR Navigation

Tappy Guide will assist individuals navigate around unfamiliar city infrastructures.

-Tappy Guide assists the visually impaired navigate around cities. We can help identify intersections, bus stops, signal timing, building entrances, safe sidewalks, etc. We are the simple First Mile/Last Mile solution.

-Help locate public and private ride-sharing vehicles

-When exploring new surroundings, Tappy Guide will assist the hearing impaired safely navigate around unfamiliar surroundings, communicate with others, and notify them of environment sounds (i.e. emergency sirens, car horns). 

-Locate handicapped accessible businesses such as restaurants, bars, office buildings, etc.

-Assist those in need of locating handicapped parking structures/lots/buildings with available handicapped parking spaces.

INDOOR Navigation

When exploring new buildings and businesses, Tappy Guide can provide indoor navigation.

-Indoor navigation for all city and county buildings.

-Indoor navigation at participating businesses such as grocery stores, malls, sporting/concert venues, museums, airports, hospitals, etc.* 

-Assist visually impaired shop on their own.

-Attend sporting/concert events where Tappy Guide can assist visually impaired individuals navigate to and from their seats, restrooms, concession stands, and other indoor venue attractions. 

-Assist those in need of locating handicapped accessible buildings and businesses entrances, exists, restrooms, and accessible areas.

Tappy Guide for EVERYONE

-Tappy Guide is the perfect solution for anyone who is not familiar with new city attractions. Veterans, senior citizens, and tourists. 

-Tappy Guide is designed to work with any transportation company to assist their riders solve the first mile/last mile problem.

-Free indoor navigation and accessible information for all businesses in the city with 2,000 sq ft of “public” space.

-Bringing back the “Human Element” when in need of assistance.

Tappy Guide will help fill the following mobility gaps:

1. Provide an on-demand customer service call center

2. Bridge the gap of coordination between mass transit companies. Create a single platform that will provide our rider will all transit data from all public/private transit companies. Provide riders with detailed information from all participating public/private transit companies. Information such as, schedule ride times, prices, vehicle types, pick-up/drop-off locations, etc.

3. Universal app design for all individuals with disabilities, seniors and veterans.

4. Open Sourced Platform to allow integration of different apps (between agencies for

payment, scheduling, etc.)

5. Solution to traveling across governmental boundaries (e.g., county line)

6. To help visually impaired know when they are near/at their stop, when bus/vehicle has arrived, etc.

7. Trip planning. Riders will be able to schedule transportation for a day full of events, such as grocery shopping, doctor appointments, and other activities.

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

Targeted population will be persons with disabilities, senior citizens, veterans, public and private transportation companies. Targeted destinations will be the following – o Public/Private transit drop-off/pickup locations. o Government buildings o Austin landmarks o Austin parks/properties. o Austin accessible parking locations o Hospitals o Doctor Offices o Grocery Stores o Schools o Libraries

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Prototype - you have built a prototype and tested it with potential users

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

Users want 1 simple solution that works. When separating apps and services (ie having multiple transit apps, different accessible apps for different disabilities, lack of 311) users get overwhelmed and frustrated. Tappy Guide is the simple solution to all things accessible.

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

John Petrous. John graduated from Wayne State University with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. John spent 10 years in the automotive industry working for General Motors Onstar, Fiat Chrysler Automotive UConnect, and Ford Automotive My Ford Mobile. Lisa Franklin – Warriors on Wheels of Metropolitan Detroit Jennifer Hayes - American Learning LLC Ann Petrous - visually impaired lead validation quality assurance specialists. Salam Petrous - Security specialist

Size of your team or organization

  • 11-50

Team or Organization URL

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Rough budget (500 characters)

Based on 4 months of development • iPhone, Android, back-end Website/API Development: $40,000 • Server Maintenance/Security/Upkeep: $10,000 • 1 Visually Impaired Quality Assurance Specialists: $3,840 • 1 Physically Challenged Quality Assurance Specialists: $3,840 • 1 Hearing Impaired Quality Assurance Specialists: $3,840 • 3 Call Center Advisors: $23,040 • Miscellaneous, i.e. Call center office space, call center equipment, cell phone test equipment, GPS testing equipment: $15,440

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

Tappy Guide’s First Mile/Last Mile solution will require 6 months to go live. The 6 months will be used to finalize the user interface and functionality, finalizing the back-end admin panel, and finalizing the call center user interface. We will require support from the City of Austin to provide us with the data listed below to implement into our platform. The plan is to gather the list of data in the first 60 days of the project, and will require 120 days to implement into our database. Public/Private transit drop-off/pickup locations Government buildings, Austin landmarks, Austin parks/properties, Austin accessible parking locations.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

Petrous Media works with a few organizations heavily involved in the disabled communities. We’re currently in association with American Learning LLC, and Warriors on Wheels of Metro Detroit. American Learning works closely with the National Federation of the Blind Michigan Chapter and can help reach the National Federation of the Blind Austin Chapter. WOW has affiliations with other disability networks in Austin to help support an outreach. Our plan is to work hand-in-hand with these organizations to interact with other disability organizations located in Austin. Our goal will be to inform, recruit, manage, and support their needs. We plan to attend meetings, events, and other social gatherings to educate and train riders on how our technology works and how they can benefit from our services. We also have plans to host our own workshops to educate our users how to maximize our services to their advantages.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

We have a plan in place to implement Tappy Guide for healthcare providers and health insurance companies to provide our services for non-emergency medical transportation. Work with public and private transportation/ride-sharing platforms Work with surrounding cities and counties Work with larger businesses such as large grocery store chains (i.e. Whole Foods), sporting venues, retail (Home Depot, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond), hotels and University Campus’ by charging a monthly fee


Join the conversation:

Photo of Franklin Brown

Hi John,
My team and I would like to extend an open invitation to collaborate with you in the Ford 2019 City:One Challenge. Our Austin Green Health Zones project was designed to be an inclusive plan, and if we become the finalist in the competition, we would like to consider using your work as one of our included partnerships. Please take a moment to read our proposal and explore the various ways in which we maybe able to work together. We've already had a chance to look over your project and we think it would be a perfect fit to include in our plan, as our project was thought through and written to allow room for additional innovative projects just like yours. We're more than certain that you'll agree that it's a win-win situation for you and your team. Please feel free to contact us at anytime. We look forward to exchanging ideas and conversing with you soon. Thank you in advance for your time and best of luck in the challenge!

-Franklin Brown | Urban UAV Systems & Consulting, Inc.

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