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Lazarillo, inclusion for all

App that helps people with visual and mobility disabilities navigate through the city providing relevant information on locations and routes

Photo of Rene Espinoza

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People with disabilities face difficulties to be autonomous because they don’t always have access to information about their environment. Nowadays in the United States there are around 3.2 million people with visual impairment and it is estimated that this figure will continue to grow, reaching 9 million by 2050 according to a study by the University of Southern California Roski Eye Institute, besides, worldwide there are over 253 million people living with visual disabilities, in order all of them be fully included in society their interactions with their surroundings needs to be support by technological means.

Our project is to create accessible and interactive experiences in every corner of the world, and in this opportunity we want to use the platform that city of tomorrow provides us for develop in Indianapolis, our  application empowers people living with disabilities and also, helps everyone's experience gets improve. This system has  over 90,000 users on 24 countries -even some of them are Indianapolis residents- which use it for free as permanent assistance. 

Our mobile app is available worldwide, use multiple maps databases and preexisting information to navigate cities delivering high-usability services developed directly with people living with disabilities. We have a routing system that by voice messages guides everyone who needs it, giving information about streets, public and private services, public transport, and more. This service can be improve through our mapping platform adding more information on public venues and also integrate with transportations systems. 

Lazarillo will integrate to the existence Indygo system and will improve the paratransit experience. 

- Integrate to Indygo, this will allow user set routes using public transportation in Lazarillo helping the user get to the stop, wait for the bus and the reach their end destination. For the bus waiting Lazarillo is going to provide automatic audio updates on the bus the person is waiting and alerts 1 minute before the bus arrive, reducing user anxiety. 

- Orientation in critical transportation centers, one of the main locations for transportation is the Julia M. Carson Transit Center this place is where people need to buy Open Door pases and also is a mayor hub on bus lines, making it complicate to orientate. Lazarillo will install its indoor/outdoor system to provide orientation in this mayor hub, helping people find the relevant locations in this center as well as the bus stop they need. For the indoor orientation will use Bluetooth beacon and the Lazarillo mapping platform, this platforms allow in the future to connect third party apps to the infrastructure through APIs.

-Improvement on the Paratransit system(Open Door). Currently scheduling a trip, canceling a trip and planing a trip with Open Door requires to call a callcenter, this is something bothersome and complicate to the user and also more expensive to Open Door than having an automated system with all the rules for scheduling that can also consider more precise locations of pick up and destination. As Lazarillo is used to plan routes this will help user to consider the Open Door system in a simple way and providing the information in a more accessible format. In order to use this system Lazarillo will also provide the steps to apply and verify it's registration, through an automated system. 

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

Our user is people with visual and mobility disabilities that require transportation in Indianapolis this include citizens and visitors. It will reduce operational cost on the Paratransit booking system, helping the Opendoors team be more productive. Also Taxi providers that has the taxi voucher, will benefit having a place to reach potential customer. This is the first target but it can be expanded helping third party apps for indygo to work better with the indoor location at the Julia M. Carson Transit Center.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Fully Scaled - you have already scaled your solution and are exploring new use cases

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

Lazarillo app was launched in September 2016, it has grown organically to 90.000 users and 12.000 plus monthly active users. We had done survey to measure the improvement of autonomy on 2017 89% and 2018 92% declare they improve their autonomy with Lazarillo. A mayor insight is that the user experience of current apps for public transportation don't provide enough detailed audio guidance and also they relay mostly in visual directions so they are not so accessible for people visually impaired

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

Our team have a technology-business mix, is leaded by René CEO Electrical Engineer with 6 years working on assistive technologies. Jorge CTO with a master degree on computer science manage 4 full stack developers, Miguel UX Accessibility Leader, been blind himself and with 10 years experience teaching assistive technologies. Álvaro CMO leads Sales with vast experience in social startup. Jonathan COO, Industrial engineer leads Operations team and integrators partners, second time founder.

Size of your team or organization

  • 11-50

Funding Request

  • $25,000

Rough Budget (500 characters)

$15000 mapping and installation of bluetooth beacons for indoor location at the Julia M. Carson Transit Center $5000 For focus groups, field testing and transportation. $5000 integration to Indygo bus system and Paratransit mapping and integration.

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

Currently LazarilloApp works and have user in Indianapolis, but this pilot consider to integrate new functionalities for the city, such as the public transportation integration and the map of the Paratransit service and its scheduling. For this we will work close to the community to test the integration, we will work with organizations for people with disabilities to test and get feedback and iterate. The app will gather data on feedback and also on the use of this services by the community in Indianapolis. We will organize field testing with the community at the Julia M. Carson Transit Center to test the indoor location system implementation, we currently had a standard for this implementation but is possible to test with the community and check opportunities for improvement. Through the whole process Lazarillo will measure the use of this functionalities by the community and will work with the transportation department to define key indicators for them.

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

The success of the pilot would consider the next indicators number of users of the indigo integration, number of trips, user rating. number of user of paratransit integration, number of trips, user rating. number of user using the indoor orientation system at the Julia M. Carson Transit Center, user rating.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

Lazarillo currently sustained as a business working with public and private institutions making their locations accessible. After the pilot the integration with the Indygo and paratransit service they will have the option to pay for the analytics reports. The integration will be maintained to grow the user base in Indianapolis. The indoor orientation system has a subscription fee after the pilot, that will maintain the service and also operational maintenance.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Alejandro Rosas

Hi Rene! Apply to the Mexico City Challenge I find your technology aligned with one of the opportunity areas: CERTAINTY AND ACCESSIBILITY WHEN MOVING.

Photo of Rene Espinoza

Thank you! we actually applied to the Challenge of mexico!

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