Researchers at the Valencian Biomechanics Institute are collaborating on an app designed to assist the elderly and reduced mobility groups in their movements around the city. A first version of the app is already available for download from GooglePlay.
SIMON Mobile is a navigation, route planner and parking app designed specifically for persons with reduced mobility. It brings together all kinds of information and functions useful to the elderly or wheelchair-bound wishing to move around the city. For instance, the location of reserved parking spaces, as well as lift- and ramp-entrances to underground stations. It can also be used to plan routes, whether on foot or wheelchair, or by car or public transport. Data is currently available for Madrid, Lisbon, Parma and Reading.
The development of the app is also tied to the new-and-improved European Parking Card currently being piloted in cities across Europe. The card now incorporates ID authentification technology in a bid to reduce fraud in the use of reserved parking spaces. Holders of one of these new cards can use SIMON Mobile to identify themselves at parking spaces and gain road access to restricted areas of the city, as well as consult their card history. Non-reduced mobility users will find the app useful for navigation and information purposes.
The app can be downloaded from the SIMON project website (simon-project.eu). European Parking Card holders in Madrid, Lisbon, Parma and Reading can also request participation in the pilot scheme to test the ID authentification function.
The goal of the SIMON project, co-funded by the European Commission, is to promote independent living and remove some of the barriers to social participation faced by persons with reduced mobility. Specifically, removing the obstacles that prevent habitual use of public transport and parking. The project addresses two critical issues: combatting the fraudulent use of the European Parking Card, in the form of smart cards and mobile devices, and navigation aids designed specifically for the elderly and other reduced mobility groups.