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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.

How will your solution benefit residents, workers, or visitors in the Michigan Central Station impact area? (1,000 characters)

Tappy Guide will be developed to help the Corktown area, it's transit systems and it's businesses become more accessible. 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 Detroit landmarks o Detroit parks/properties. o Detroit accessible parking locations o Hospitals o Doctor Offices o Grocery Stores o Schools o Libraries o Small Businesses

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

Are you submitting as a student team?

  • No

Are you submitting as a team from the Impact Area?

  • No

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 Detroit and Ford Motor Company 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 Corktown landmarks Corktown parks/properties Corktown accessible parking locations. Work with local businesses and restaurants to obtain up-to-date accessible information

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

Tappy Guide 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 Detroit Chapter. WOW has affiliations with other disability networks in metro Detroit to help support an outreach. Our plan is to work hand-in-hand with these organizations to interact with other disability organizations located in Corktown. 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 implement our services for non-emergency medical transportation. Work with public and private transportation/ride-sharing platforms within cities and counties. Work with larger businesses such as grocery stores (i.e. Kroger, Meijer, Whole Foods), sporting venues (LCA, Ford Field), retail (Home Depot, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond), hotels and University Campus’ by charging a monthly fee.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Boratha Tan

Hi John Petrous thanks for submitting your Tappy Guide proposal! I'm part of the online facilitation team for City:One. It does seem great that you and your team are focusing on people throughout the spectrum! I am assuming that this app can also be used for able-bodied as well? Logistical question: how would your app exactly guide people inside buildings? Do I just type in a department name/room number, and it guides me to the elevator, tell me to turn, etc.?
Over-arching questions: Tappy Guide does require a cell phone. Any idea you can come up with that can reach out to people without cell phones?

Photo of John Petrous

Boratha, thank you for reaching out! To answer your questions:
"I am assuming that this app can also be used for able-bodied as well?": Yes, although Tappy Guide is designed specifically for individuals with disabilities, anyone and everyone can use Tappy Guide!
"how would your app exactly guide people inside buildings?": Our app is mainly based off of Google Maps utilizes the user's GPS. Users will request directions to a certain location and our app will guide them.
"Any idea you can come up with that can reach out to people without cell phones?" Yes, we do have an optional plan in place, however this solution would come after the launch of Tappy Guide and would and would be considered a "phase 2-3"