Published May 22, 2021 | Version Accepted pre-print
Conference paper Open

A Smartphone Application Designed to Detect Obstacles for Pedestrians' Safety

  • 1. Research Centre on Interactive MediaSmart Systems and Emerging Technologies - RISENicosiaCyprus
  • 2. Research Centre on Interactive MediaSmart Systems and Emerging Technologies - RISENicosiaCyprus and Visual Media Computing Research Lab, Department of Multimedia and Graphic ArtsCyprus University of TechnologyLimassolCyprus


Encouraging people to walk rather than using other means of transportation is an important factor towards personal health and
environmental sustainability. However, given the large number of pedestrian accidents recorded every year, the need for safe urban environments is increasing. Taking advantage of the potential of citizen-science for crowdsourcing data and creating awareness, we developed a smartphone application for enhancing the safety of pedestrians while walking in cities. Using the application, citizens will monitor the urban sidewalks and update a crowdsourcing platform with the detected barriers and damages that hinder safe walking, along with their location on a city map. To help users assign the correct type of obstacle, and authorities to assess
the urgency, a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) model for barrier and damage recognition is embedded in the application. The results of a user evaluation, based on a group of volunteers who used the application in real conditions, demonstrate the potential of using the application in conjunction with a smart city framework.


This work has been partly supported by the project that has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 739578 (RISE – Call: H2020-WIDESPREAD-01-2016-2017-TeamingPhase2) and the Republic of Cyprus through the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy.



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RISE – Research Center on Interactive Media, Smart System and Emerging Technologies 739578
European Commission