Transport for Wales (TfW) has trialled a new service providing personalised journey information announcements to passengers with hearing loss.
The Hearing Enhanced Audio Relay (HEAR) application was successfully tested on TfW trains on the Rhymney – Penarth route for two months, with the aim of improving the journeys of passengers with hearing loss.
The application enables passengers connected to the onboard Wi-Fi to receive personalised journey announcements to their smart devices in real-time. These notifications can be specifically tailored to passengers’ preferences, for example only informing them of announcements relating to their destination, in both audible and readable formats. HEAR was funded by the Department for Transport through its £9m ‘First of a Kind 2021’ competition, delivered by Innovate UK (part of UKRI).
Michael Davies, Insight and Innovation Manager at Transport for Wales, said: “We are committed to making our network as accessible as possible. Working with GoMedia on HEAR has given us the opportunity to test a solution that could provide huge benefits to customers and encourage people to choose rail.”
GoMedia - a subsidiary of Icomera and of EQUANS – developed the technology with support from charities Hearing Link and Hearing Dogs with the aim of alleviating the difficulties passengers with accessibility needs face, using purpose-designed technology powered by real-time information.