- South Australian software developer, Cassie Hames, imagined an application which led to SAGE receiving a $500,000 Australian dollar grant from the iMOVE Cooperative Research Centre [iMOVE CRC]
- Hames’ app — ‘See Me’ will ease the accessibility of public transport for people with vision impairment
- Cassie is an employee of SAGE, an Australian company that has become a leading global provider of integrated automation and control solutions
iMOVE CRC granted $500,000 in funding to two Australian start-ups which aim to change the way people get around town in Australia. The two projects in question, ‘See Me’ and ‘microFleet,’ intend to transform transport in Australia through different solutions to existing hurdles.
Cassie Hames, the software programmer behind ‘See Me,’ is legally blind and employed by SAGE Automation, a SAGE Group company, in Adelaide, South Australia. The app has aimed to transform public transport for Australia’s blind and vision-impaired community.
Users of the app can alert bus drivers of their intent to board at a certain location and at a certain time; once aboard, the app will notify them of upcoming stops to eliminate guesswork and anxiety. People who are blind or vision impaired will be supported through the ‘See Me’ user interface/user experience [UI/UX] which was designed to offer a more inclusive and stress-free public transport experience.
“The ‘See Me’ app was an organic idea based on my experiences — and the experiences of many in the blind community — using public transport independently. Going out into the community shouldn’t be less of an experience from one person to the next, regardless of ability, disability or anything else,” Cassie said.
“As a frequent public transport user, I wanted to develop a solution that increases accessibility, for all people, so that everyone can feel comfortable, confident, and safe [when] catching the bus.”
Limited trials of the app are scheduled to commence this year in South Australia, Queensland, and New South Wales. Cassie’s dedication to improving accessibility in public transport recently earned her international recognition when she won the Holman Prize and accompanying $25,000 United States dollar grant from San Francisco’s Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, representing SAGE.
iMOVE is Australia’s research and development centre for transport and mobility, with 44 industry, Government and academic partners, along with over 50 projects completed or currently underway in a broad range of transport areas.
Ian Christensen, managing director of iMOVE CRC said the ‘See Me’ app is “more than just technology — it’s a beacon for hope” for people living with a vision impairment, as they navigate the urban sprawl.
“We’re proud to back Cassie and SAGE with an initiative that doesn’t just move people, but moves the entire transport industry towards a more inclusive future,” he said.
Mr Christensen commented on the $500,000 investment for ‘OneDeck,’ in addition to reiterating his support for Hames’ software development.
“In a world where the transportation sector is undergoing rapid transformation, driven by both technological advancements and environmental imperatives, solutions like ‘OneDock’ are not just desirable; it’s essential.”
Australian company ‘microFleet’ has received $500,000 for the patent-pending ‘OneDeck’ invention from iMOVE CRC, which aims to take on the $300 billion dollar e-micromobility market.
microFleet is a sister company of Electric Vehicles Pty Ltd, which has a longstanding contract with Australia Post for the supply and maintenance of e-bikes for its 2,000 plus national fleet.
Globally, the Australian start-up had planned to roll-out 70,000 ‘OneDeck’ charging stations in New York to overhaul urban transportation through electric bikes, scooters and light electric vehicles. The company is consulting representatives in New York, with an estimated 2024 delivery of the ‘OneDeck’ roll-out. The company aims to install 100,000 smart docking points in Australia and one million, globally, by 2030.
To find out more about iMOVE CRC and the investment paying off over time, stay updated via the iMOVE Australia website.