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Système européen de navigation par satellite



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Applications for People with Disabilities

There are currently 37 million people in Europe with some form of disability, in other words one person per 10. GALILEO promises the advent of practicable, affordable technological solutions to assist people with disabilities in a variety of situations. GALILEO's increased availibilty, especially in innercity areas, and its integrity feature are key assets for this kind of applications and services.

Some examples of practical uses of GALILEO:

Personal navigation assistance for people with impaired vision

Tormes; ©ESAMap reading for the blind at present depends largely on the additional aid of sighted people. While tactile maps are helpful in giving an overview of a country, region or city, they are unable to detail adequately streets and landmarks. Until now, satellite orientation tools also fail to accurately guide visually impaired people through the streets because signals are lost due to tall buildings and other obstacles, leading to incorrect positioning of up to 30 or 40 metres.  GALILEO will allow having a better coverage in urban areas and will help to provide an enhanced navigation service for the blind community. Through so-called "local elements", GALILEO will also improve and facilitate possibilities for indoor localisation.

A project has been supported by ESA that has successfully proved the feasibility of such a system by using EGNOS, the precursor to GALILEO. A hand held device speaks to the user, like any navigation device in a car, but weighing less than one kilo it can be carried over the shoulder. It can be used in two ways: to guide users to their destination or to tell them where they are as they walk around. EGNOS ensures the required accuracy in routing and navigational assistance. The tool also includes a Braille keyboard and voice synthesiser as well as Internet access. This project can pave the way for GALILEO while demonstrating the benefit of enhanced GNSS performances for these applications.

see also: ESA project TORMES

Assistance to Alzheimer's sufferers with memory loss

Many Alzheimer's sufferers, in the early stage of their illness, are still pursuing regular activities such as working, driving or shopping. A personal digital assistiant (PDA), programmed with information about their habits and regular destinations, can help them stay integrated in their environment and cope with recurring problems. Such a device would have a simple interface where the user would need only click on a picture of his desired destination, and a directional arrow would appear on the screen to point him in the right direction. The device could also suggest destinations based on criteria like the current time and the user's exact location and direction provided by GALILEO. An Alzheimer's patient lost in a parking lot could use it to find his car. Another might use it to find the stop where he usually takes the bus.

GALILEO can also be used to monitor patients with more severe symptoms in order to localise them in case they need assistance.

Route planning for people with physical impairments

©European Commission's Audiovisual LibraryRoute planning for physically impaired people will be based on a knowledge base which can be built with the utilisation of precise positioning provided by GALILEO. Access routes and building entrances compliant with needs of people with disabilities, special parking places and preferred sites in public and private areas or specific points of interest are all positioning information that shall form part of a dedicated geographical information system for disabled people.

Enhancement of telemedicine or emergency services through real-time localisation

An obviously useful application of global satellite navigation systems lies in the instant localisation of persons who got lost or confused about their destination or whereabouts. If such a person carries a GALILEO receiver linked with a communication device, relatives or medical staff can easily and instantaneously locate this person. Elderly people or persons with certain medical conditions can also use such a device to determine their location, e.g. in case of an emergency. A GALILEO receiver will be the enabler of services such as telemedicine or enhanced emergency services. In case of an emergency call, the rescue centre will know directly who is the person, where he is and which sort of problem he has. This can drastically improve the efficiency of the emergency service by gaining precious time during the intervention.

Real-time public transport audio announcements on remaining travel time, next stop and connections

©European Commission's Audiovisual LibraryOperators of public transport systems are already beginning to use GNSS technology to track buses and trigger announcements at certain locations and stops, both for passengers who want to get off and for waiting riders. This is not only very helpful to persons with impaired vision, but does also help the elderly, wheelchair-users, and those who don't know the region well or who aren't used to riding the bus.

dernière mise à jour : 10-02-2009