A Bluetooth-enabled wristband that can improve bus journeys for people without sight or hearing will become a working prototype after a 17-year-old came up with the idea.
Daria Buszta, from Nottingham, designed a vibrating wristband that connects with a driver's ticket machine and informs a passenger when the bus approaches his or her stop.
Daria, a science student at Nottingham’s Bilborough College, won £1,000 for her winning entry in a Government competition challenging tech-savvy pupils to come up with novel solutions for disabled bus passengers.
She said: "I wasn't expecting to win, but I'm excited that my idea will be made into a real working product. I'm so glad it will help so many people feel comfortable and independent on public transport."
According to the Department of Transport, two-thirds of commuters with sight or hearing impairments have missed their stop in the past six months. It can be difficult to identify the number or destination of their bus, know where and when to get off or hear important on-board announcements.
Daria will now get the opportunity to work with local businesses to have her design developed into a working prototype.
Baroness Kramer, transport minister, said: “Disabled people have the same rights as anyone else to access public transport, but there remain obstacles.”
“Daria came up with a very simple answer to a complicated problem. Her design was discreet, cost-effective and has huge potential.
“This isn’t just an idea that will stay on paper. It will get serious backing and will hopefully start changing people’s lives in the not too distant future.”
The backing will include using funding worth £100,000 from the Transport Systems Catapult, one of seven technology and innovation centres established and overseen by the UK's innovation agency, Innovate UK.