Voi partners with Lazarillo app to improve safety and accessibility for vulnerable users

Posted: 5 May 2022 | | No comments yet

Currently available in Bristol, Liverpool and Birmingham, Voi’s service integration with the Lazarillo app will allow blind and visually impaired users to safely and confidently navigate some of the biggest micro-mobility cities in the UK.

Voi partners with Lazarillo app to improve accessibility for visually impaired people

Credit: Voi Technology

European micro-mobility operator Voi Technology has announced the roll out of its partnership with the Lazarillo app to improve accessibility for blind and visually impaired people.

Through this partnership, Voi is integrating its service with the Lazarillo app allowing those who are blind and visually impaired to receive real-time voice messages on scooter parking locations and report any poorly parked scooter directly to the micro-mobility operator using the ‘Alerts’ feature in the app. This allows for easier communication between Voi and Lazarillo app users and improves overall safety and accessibility for blind and visually impaired people.

Voi’s number one priority is the safety of all road users, particularly those who are vulnerable. With over two million vulnerable people in the UK suffering from sight loss, this API integration with the Lazarillo app makes it easier for blind or visually impaired people to go about their daily lives safely and confidently.

The Lazarillo app, available for free on iOS and Android, is used by over a quarter of a million blind or visually impaired people across the globe, including thousands of users in the UK, to safely guide them through busy and often cluttered streets. Companies and public entities use Lazarillo’s open-source mapping technology to link their information in an accessible format, which the app relays as real-time voice messages to enable people with disabilities to navigate through indoor and outdoor spaces.

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Now, the app will also include notifications on Voi e-scooter parking locations, both physical and virtual, allowing users to navigate safely and confidently some of the biggest micro-mobility cities, where Voi riders have taken over seven million e-scooter journeys. The service is currently available in Bristol, Liverpool and Birmingham with more cities in the UK to be added in the future.

Jack Samler, General Manager at Voi UK and Ireland, said: “As the demand for micro-mobility services continues to grow across the UK, this partnership is one step forward to ensuring everyone can benefit from the introduction of this new sustainable transport mode, including those who are vulnerable. We look forward to getting feedback from Lazarillo’s blind and visually impaired people in Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool and we look forward to continuing to work with Lazarillo to roll out this service in other towns and cities.”

René Espinoza Jimenez, Founder and CEO of Lazarillo said: “Our integration with Voi intends to provide new information to our users as well as a new accessible tool for reporting. This work is quite new, and we hope that the integration will allow people with disabilities to feel more empowered as we work toward smarter and more accessible cities together.”

Since the launch of the trials, Voi has been carrying out regular consultations with blind and visually impaired groups, to listen to and address their concerns. This collaboration with Lazarillo builds on other pioneering accessibility initiatives, such as the deployment of visually distinctive parking racks co-designed with the Royal National Institute of Blind People, the launch of e-scooter sound pilots and the trial of AI computer vision technology designed to detect and prevent pavement riding.