[MLIT] "Study Group on Creating Safety Measures at Stations for Persons with Visual Impairments through the Utilization of New Technologies" Held

On October 9th, 2020, the MLIT held the 1st "Study Group on Creating Safety Measures at Stations for Persons with Visual Impairment through the Utilization of New Technologies". In order to improve the safety of persons with visual impairment and other train station users, installation of platform doors is one of the most effective and efficient measures, as it prevents them from falling from the platform. However, it requires a certain amount of time and cost, and in some cases, it is difficult to install platform doors due to structural factors. The Study Group deliberated various measures to address these challenges, including those utilizing IT and sensing technologies. The main points of the discussion were as follows.

  • Understanding the actual situation and causes of falls from station platforms
  • Creating a warning system with sensors or cameras to detect cases where persons with visual impairments approach the edge of the platform.
  • Enhancing appropriate guidance measures for persons with visual impairment by station staff or spoken guidance on smartphones, including proper installation of the guidance blocks.  

The study group consists of the MLIT, members of organizations of persons with visual impairments and their support groups, academic experts, and railway operators. At the first meeting, the secretariat explained the purpose of the study, the matters to be discussed, and so on. This was followed by a lecture by Professor Emeritus Okura of Seikei University, and an exchange of opinions. Meetings will be held about once a month ,and the results will be summarized within the fiscal year 2021. For more information, please visit the following website (Japanese only). https://www.mlit.go.jp/tetudo/tetudo_fr7_000032.html