Have 30 seconds and a mobile phone? Here’s your opportunity to help improve accessibility by using the Route4U app – anywhere in Ireland, anytime

Route4U mobile app ensures that people with limited mobility can now plan their trips even if the footpaths are blocked

Cities by nature will never be fully accessible for people with limited mobility. However, the most annoying thing is usually not the obstacle itself but the unpredictable nature of it. But what if these footpath obstacles could be foreseen, and easily avoided? Winner of Smart Dublin’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Wayfinding Challenge with Enterprise Ireland Route4U is a footpath navigation app which is being piloted in Fingal (Swords centre) and by Dublin City Council (Dublin’s Docklands).

So far a wealth of data has been captured on footpath obstacles, surface quality, curb heights in crossings, widths and inclines of footpaths. This provides route planning and turn-by-turn navigation for wheelchair users, customized to everyone’s own abilities. This is kept up-to-date by users who simply download the app and report obstacles. Wheelchair users can switch on the “auto-survey” function as they traverse the footpaths, activating their phone sensors to collect data automatically.

In September, the initiative is going country-wide, in partnership with the Disability Federation of Ireland, by taking active part in the Make Way Day campaign Route4U by encouraging people all over the country to download the app and report footpath obstacles.

To upload a report really takes less than 30 seconds and it can save a lot of struggling for many wheelchair users.” – says Tamas Szekely CMO of Route4U “Moreover, the collected data will be prioritized and fed back to local councils to assist them in making informed decisions” – he added.

Route4u will help build awareness of obstacles and contribute to opening up the city to people with disabilities. Everybody can contribute to improving access and I am delighted to see this innovative use of technology." highlights Pat Nestor, Access Officer, Dublin City Council.

The one-month obstacle-reporting campaign officially kicked off today at a CHAT (Community Hub for Accessible Technology) event hosted at the National Rehabilitation Hospital.

So, have 30 seconds? Download the app for iOS or Android and do some good today!