A Positioning and Mapping Methodology Using Bluetooth and Smartphone Technologies to Support Situation Awareness and Wayfinding for the Visually Impaired

Building upon our previous effort in developing a mobile accessible pedestrian system to support wayfinding and navigation for people who are blind or visually impaired, we have developed a “condition aware” infrastructure, i.e. a system that can self-monitor and make sure that the information is up-to-date at the right location. The objective of the self-monitoring infrastructure is to ensure that information provided to the visually impaired through a smartphone app is valid and robust. A standalone Bluetooth low energy (BLE) device, called a BLE-master, was developed using commercial off-the-shelf BLE modules to operate in dual mode (master/slave). We plan to leverage and continue our effort from the past two years by implementing our system at a test site and evaluating the performance including accuracy and reliability of the information provided to users by collecting data via a smartphone interface to a cloud-based server. This project will investigate a sustainable power source, such as a miniature solar panel, for the BLE devices and install BLE devices in the infrastructure (e.g. at intersections, light rail platforms, or work zones) to demonstrate the system capabilities and evaluate its performance.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Roadway Safety Institute

    University of Minnesota
    Minneapolis, MN  United States  55455
  • Project Managers:

    Stearns, Amy

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

    Center for Transportation Studies
    Minneapolis, MN  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Liao, Chen-Fu

  • Start Date: 20140701
  • Expected Completion Date: 20180430
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 37487

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01567220
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Roadway Safety Institute
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC35, CTS-2015025
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Jun 26 2015 1:00AM