Founder, Smart Access
Tim has a background in educational psychology, research, and app development and now focuses on using technology to solve accessibility issues after facing many accessibility issues in his own experiences as a tetraplegic.
He has a business, Smart Access, which collects and sells data on 40 accessibility variables to local governments to help better prioritise infrastructure spending, and to help disabled people plan safe travel routes.
Tim is also a PhD candidate in Environmental Planning and co-supervisor of machine learning research at the University of Waikato using the data he collects with his Smart Access application.
How do we use AI to make the world a better place for disabled people?
Smart Access collects data on 40 accessibility features identified through extensive consultation with the disabled community, including street furniture, traditional accessibility features for w/c users, tactile paving, overhead obstacles for those with low-vision, door type, signage on footpaths etc.
Users can choose to see only the accessibility features that affect their travel, so they can effectively plan the best travel route that meets their specific needs. This information also allows Council staff to prioritise infrastructure upgrades with extensive data, to improve on your evidence-based approach.
Through data collection, Smart Access have developed unique insights into the prevalence of different features and have identified priority accessibility features to upgrade that are restricting access between public transport routes and key amenities.
Smart Access has found key gaps between rest homes and pharmacies, between schools and bus stops, and identified long stretches of road without crossings where there is a high density of healthcare services.
Tim Young, the CEO of Smart Access, is a PhD candidate in Environmental Planning and co-supervisor of machine learning research at the University of Waikato using the data he collects with his Smart Access application. This combination of business and research provides a robust methodology and product for the business, and direct application of the research to the market.