Artificial intelligence research is helping the disabled use public transportation

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) — Maneuvering the tunnels, stairs and multiple train tracks at San Jose’s Diridon Station is challenging for most people. Make one wrong move, and you could be at a platform for a northbound Caltrain instead of a southbound VTA light rail train.It can be even more difficult for those with vision, hearing or other issues, especially as the population grows older. So, three partners are working on a high tech project to deploy artificial intelligence to make taking public transit easier. IBM Research’s Almaden facility in San Jose, researchers at UC Santa Cruz and VTA are using a $992,000 National Science Foundation grant to design and install an Internet of Things system that taps into the cloud, smartphones and data devices called beacons at Diridon Station.One year into the three-year grant, the project is getting ready to deploy the beacons. The goal is to give passengers with special needs real-time information to help them find the right track, the correct platform, the desired train, and the optimum spot for boarding. The technology could also alert the passenger when to disembark and to confirm that the passenger is on the right train.Graduate students at UC Santa Cruz…


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