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Use of 3D scanning technology to determine bus access for people using powered mobility aids
journal contributionposted on 13.02.2019, 00:00 by Carolyn Unsworth, Julian Chua, Anjum Naweed, Prasad Gudimetla, TD Nguyen, DG Barnes
Public transport is designed to move people efficiently and affordably around their communities. Millions of people internationally with disabilities rely on public transport every day to connect them to services, work, educational and social events. Many of these people attempt to board public transport using a powered mobility aid (such as an electric wheelchair, mobility scooter, or gopher) and this number is expected to rise as the population ages. Evidence suggests that many people have difficulty getting their powered mobility aids on and off public transport vehicles, and consumers, vendors and the health care-professionals involved in recommending mobility aids have no way of knowing which powered mobility aids are compatible with existing public transport configurations. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how existing 3D technologies and software can be applied to solve this real world problem using the example of buses. This proof-of-principle paper describes the process of scanning buses and powered mobility aids in 3D, together with descriptions of the prototype software to undertake the computerised process, to determine the compatibility of powered mobility aids for access on buses. Feasibility is then demonstrated using an example of one bus and one powered mobility aid. This paper is of interest to researchers wishing to examine the application of 3D technologies, health care providers and consumers who select powered mobility aids, as well as transport policy makers and conveyance commissioners who can access 3D data to optimise transport network accessibility for all community members.