Innovation That Matters

GPS navigation for disabled drivers

Work & Lifestyle

Myriad challenges face disabled drivers and their caretakers as they navigate the streets in their daily lives, not the least of which is finding destinations and parking accommodations that are handicapped-accessible. A new GPS navigation system from UK-based Navevo, however, focuses squarely on helping such drivers find the locations and parking they need. Launched just a few weeks ago, BBNav includes many of the features found on standard satellite navigation systems, but it also adds information tailored to support holders of the UK’s Blue Badge for handicapped drivers. Through a partnership with PIE (Public Information Exchange), the UK’s leading publisher of disabled parking guides, BBNav offers comprehensive data about disabled-accessible parking and local council Blue Badge concessions, as well as more than 20,000 points of interest suitable for people with disabilities. Featuring a 4.3-inch-wide touch screen and Bluetooth hands-free calling, BBNav includes a database of 3,500 disabled-accessible car parks and more than 10,000 Blue Badge parking spaces that can reduce the time and uncertainty involved in searching for a place to park the car. Colour-coded and numbered icons are displayed on the map while en route, making it easy to identify parking lots as well as any waiting times or restrictions, and most spots are graded from 1 to 3, indicating the degree of accessibility to those with varying degrees of impairment. BBNav’s mapping has also been colour-coded to reflect local rules for Blue Badge holders, so users can easily determine whether they can park legally on yellow lines, for example. The result? On a visit to an unfamiliar town, BBNav can tell drivers where to park, where the public toilets with disabled facilities are and which accommodations offer support for the disabled, among other key pieces of information. Due to be available next month, BBNav will come complete with street-level mapping for 150 major cities and towns in the UK, seven-digit postcode lookup and a six-month free trial of safety camera alerts. Pricing will be GBP 199.99. Some 650 million people around the globe–or about 10 percent of the world’s population–live with a disability, constituting the world’s largest minority, according to 2006 data from the United Nations. As populations age, those numbers–and their collective spending power–will only increase. How can your brand better serve this segment of the population…? (Related: Network for people with disabilities.) Spotted by: Zena Hockley



Download PDF