Posted by Matilda on April 23, 2012; This entry is filed under Feature Writer Alena Roberts.
I am not an experienced cab rider by any means, but the few times I’ve taken one, I’ve had to trust that the driver was honest with me about how much I owed since there was no accessible way for me to know the cost per mile or how far I had traveled. This is just one example of the many situations where the blind have to trust their sighted peers to not lie to them about the cost of things.
Since many people who take cabs pay with their credit card, this problem can be even more dangerous. A blind passenger wouldn’t know until it was too late that they had been overcharged. Have recognized this issue, the company CMT and Lighthouse International have teamed up together to solve this problem. In a short time, they’ve designed an accessible credit card reader so that blind passengers can pay with ease and have the comfort that they’ve paid the proper amount.
In order to turn on the accessible features, the passenger can either ask their driver to turn it on or swipe a card provided by Lighthouse International. The cards can be ordered from the Lighthouse by calling 1-800-829-0500. The accessible interface can be turned on at any time during the ride.
During the ride, the passenger can be updated on the current fare and then once they’ve reached their destination, the interface will allow them to pay using a credit card.
Some of the features that they hope to incorporate in the future include being able to tap the screen and learn your current location and have the interface be available in other languages.
CMT is in charge of about half of the cabs in New York, and by May, 1,500 of their cabs will have the new accessible payment system. After those are complete, they plan to put it in the rest of their cabs in New York and then expand to other cities like Chicago and San Francisco.
It is CMT’s hope that other companies will follow in their footsteps.
To read the full details of this exciting new technology visit this link: http://gothamist.com/2012/04/17/taxi_tv_for_the_blind_about_to_star.php#photo-1