PERCEPT Indoor Navigation System for Visually Impaired: Beta Study

Independent navigation through unfamiliar indoor spaces is beset with barriers for Blind and Visually Impaired (BVI) individuals. A task that is trivial and spontaneous for people without disabilities, has to be planned and coordinated with other individuals for the BVI population. Currently there are no commercial systems that enable BVI users to independently navigate in indoor environments. The PERCEPT system (PERCEPT), is an affordable and accurate indoor navigation system for BVI users, that was developed by Professor Ganz and her team at the University of Massachusetts 5G Mobile Evolution Lab. Using real time localization and detailed navigation instructions that are automatically generated, PERCEPT enables BVI users to independently navigate through large indoor venues as demonstrated in trials in North Station. This project objective is to assist MBTA evaluate PERCEPT suitability for MBTA system-wide deployment. To accomplish this objective the research team will conduct a beta study with at least 20 BVI participants who will download and use PERCEPT on their Smartphones to independently access and navigate the MBTA’s subway system at North Station. This information will be used to determine MBTA system-wide deployment of PERCEPT.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $100000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    Massachusetts Division
    55 Broadway, 10th Floor
    Cambridge, Massachusetts  United States  02142
  • Managing Organizations:

    Massachusetts Department of Transportation

    10 Park Plaza
    Boston, MA  United States  02116
  • Project Managers:

    Zavolas, Nicholas

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Massachusetts, Amherst

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    130 Natural Resources Road
    Amherst, MA  United States  01003
  • Principal Investigators:

    Ganz, Aura

  • Start Date: 20181101
  • Expected Completion Date: 20190930
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: Research and Development

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01688704
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Massachusetts Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 92312
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Dec 17 2018 3:47PM