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Accessible Public Transport for Provisioning the Use of a Wheelchair

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000199408D
Publication Date: 2010-Sep-01
Document File: 3 page(s) / 53K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is an automated system for providing safe and easy wheelchair accessibility to public transportation. The system utilizes radio frequency identification (RFID) tags on the wheelchairs and tag readers on the vehicle to activate dynamic configuration and placement of ramps for boarding and exiting and mechanisms for securing placement of the wheelchair in the vehicle.

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Accessible Public Transport for Provisioning the Use of a Wheelchair

Healthcare facilities employ wheelchairs of different sizes and configurations to assist disabled individuals. Current wheelchair transporters can be advantageous, but are often limited to a wheelchair of a specific size and configuration. To help more patients and healthcare providers, a wheelchair transporter is needed that accommodates wheelchairs of different sizes and configurations. This is especially true for vehicles of public transportation (i.e., buses and vans).

Some transportation facilities do provide disabled access; the facility meets local, state, and/or federal codes for door size, ramps, etc. In addition, some facilities provide a level of automation where a person can access the building by depressing a disabled access pad to open the door.

The existing mechanisms have several shortcomings, causing the disabled person to depend on others to help with:

• Placing a ramp to allow the wheelchair to board and exit the vehicle

• Ensuring the wheelchair safely ascends and descends the ramp

• Securing the wheelchair to, and releasing it from, its position in the vehicle

Neither prior art nor current solutions covers of any of the claims of this disclosure.

The disclosed solution comprises a system designed to assist people with the mechanics of accessing public transportation (e.g., opening doors) as well as safely positioning and securing wheelchairs of different sizes and configurations. The invention incorporates the following components and process:

1. The vehicle door is equipped with a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag reader. The reader in the door detects the RFID tag signal emitted by the RFID Tag on the bus pass/wheelchair. The RFID tag signal contains the information related to model of wheelchair (i.e., height, width, etc.) which allows the system to dynamically adjust the enter/exit points, allowing access without manual intervention.

2. With the information from the RFID tags, the system's receiving sensor detects the height of the wheelchair and automatically collapses a...