Lyft is making it easier for anyone and everyone to grab a ride, and that includes folks with visual impairments. This week, the ridesharing giant announced a new partnership with Aira, an assistive community focused on those who are blind or have impaired vision. Together, the two teams are looking to make transportation more accessible to all.
By using wearable smart glasses and an augmented reality dashboard powered by Aira, visually impaired customers will be able to access Lyft’s services. Aira agents will be able to initiate Lyft rides on behalf of a passenger, and communicate important details about the ride, like the location of pick-up spots, estimated pick-up time, and estimated fare. Agents can also provide the name of the driver, as well as vehicle identification information for a more seamless experience. And to ensure that passengers safely make their way from Point A to Point B, Aira can help track the ride, ensure the dropoff point, and provide navigational assistance as users walk the last few feet to their ultimate destination.
“Lyft is committed to be a model for the type of community we want our world to be: diverse, inclusive, and safe,” says Suman Kanuganti, Aira Founder and CEO. “Aira’s mission is to give people who are blind or low vision the power of information. I am psyched about this partnership as it’s designed to provide an end-to-end enhanced experience that makes transportation more accessible to all blind and low vision people, anytime and anywhere.”
This isn’t the first time Lyft has sought to help disabled riders. Earlier this year, the company debuted a partnership with the National Association of the Deaf in an effort to better connect drivers and passengers. Indeed, Lyft noted in a blog post, the company will continue to work alongside different communities and organizations in order to bring transportation to a larger proportion of the population.
“We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Aira, an organization that enables hundreds of millions of low vision people to lead better futures,” stated Gyre Renwick, vice president of Lyft business. “Together, we’re working towards our mission of improving people’s lives with the world’s best transportation by introducing better transportation solutions to those with vision loss — ultimately enhancing mobility opportunities and helping create more accessible cities.”
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