This International Persons with Disabilities Day, Moovit and WeWALK are empowering visually impaired people with the technology to overcome key barriers to mobility, contributing to more accessible cities
New York City – November 2021
Moovit, an Intel company, a leading Mobility as a Service (MaaS) solutions provider and creator of the world’s #1 urban mobility app, is announcing a partnership with WeWALK, the UK startup behind the award-winning smart cane for visually impaired people. Through this alliance, the two organizations will provide blind and partially sighted people with the technology needed to independently and confidently navigate public transportation across the globe.
According to the World Health Organization, there are over 253 million visually impaired people worldwide, many of whom rely on the white cane to get around. While the white cane has become a symbol of independent mobility, it can still be challenging for its users to reach longer distances, especially using public transit. For instance, visually impaired people may be uncertain that they’ve caught the right bus or can’t read the entrance sign needed to access the subway.
To address this, WeWALK has invented a smart device that attaches to a white cane, warning users of obstacles through ultrasonic sensors and a vibrating handle. Paired with the WeWALK smartphone app via Bluetooth, users can access mobility services straight from their cane.
In honor of International Persons with Disabilities Day on December 3, 2021, Moovit and WeWALK are joining forces to make public transit more accessible around the globe. The two companies are working together to provide WeWALK customers with the technology needed to travel safely and independently; ultimately allowing access to additional opportunities for employment, education, social activities, and more.
Through this partnership, Moovit, the urban mobility app which combines official information from local transit agencies with crowdsourced information to calculate the best routes for each journey, is enriching WeWALK’s capabilities via Moovit’s Transit API which helps blind and partially sighted people use public transit more confidently.
Merging WeWALK’s smart cane, including voice assistance capabilities, with Moovit’s Transit API allows users to:
“We are delighted to work with WeWALK, an impressive company that shares our vision of making the world a more accessible and equitable place,” said Yovav Meydad, Moovit’s Chief Growth and Marketing Officer. “While blind and partially sighted people have more independence than ever before, getting around via public transit can still be daunting and overwhelming. Through our partnership, we aim to instill more reassurance in people by breaking down some of these mobility barriers, empowering them to access more opportunities available to them.”
“WeWALK’s mission of creating life-changing mobility tools is an intensely collaborative process, and one involving challenges that command word-leading partners,” explains Jean Marc Feghali, WeWALK’s Head of Research and Development. “A prominent example is the delivery of efficient, usable, and reliable access to public transport data. The WeWALK team’s lived experience of visual impairment only makes this need more apparent, a solution more critical, and our promise more personal. Moovit’s partnership with WeWALK is an extraordinary step forward to realizing our mission, and our promise, of uncompromised visually impaired mobility.”
Moovit (www.moovit.com), an Intel company, is a leading Mobility as a Service (MaaS) solutions provider and the creator of the #1 urban mobility app. Moovit was acquired by Intel in 2020 to join forces with Mobileye and advance its MaaS strategy. Together, Moovit and Mobileye will accelerate the global adoption of autonomous transportation.
Moovit’s iOS, Android, and Web apps guide people in getting around town effectively and conveniently, using any mode of transport. Introduced in 2012 it now serves over 1 billion users in more than 3,400 cities across 112 countries.
Moovit amasses up to six billion anonymous data points a day to add to the world’s largest repository of transit and urban mobility data. For governments, cities, transit agencies, and private companies, Moovit offers AI-powered MaaS solutions covering planning, operations, and optimization with proven value in reducing congestion, growing ridership, and increasing efficiency and asset utilization. Industry leaders such as Microsoft, Uber, and Cubic have partnered with Moovit to power their mobility offerings.
WeWALK (www.wewalk.io) is on a mission to enhance the mobility of visually impaired people with cutting-edge technology. There are 253 million visually impaired people globally, and many of them rely on the white cane, a simple tool primarily designed to provide ground-level obstacle detection. Backed by Microsoft AI, by equipping the white cane with modern technology and providing a fully accessible, custom-built navigation app, WeWALK improves the safety and independence of visually impaired people. WeWALK is more than a product – it is the first step in a larger societal transformation
As well as being Amazon’s startup of the year 2021, WeWALK has been awarded an Edison Gold Medal (2018), was one of TIME’s best inventions of 2019 and has also received an honorable mention (May 2020) in World Changing Ideas, a major annual award by Fast Company that honors products, companies and design that are pursuing innovation for the good of society. WeWALK, which is currently on sale through international visually impaired organizations and distributors, can also be ordered from the WeWALK website.