Toyota takes the pee out of driving!

Long car trips can present special challenges for wheelchair users and the elderly with disabilities or special needs, not least concern about being able to find a suitably equipped public loo when making a long journey. So to help, Toyota has created a new Restroom Finder app.

The tool, to be launched on 21 May, works with Toyota T-Connect and Lexus G-Link in-car telematics systems in Japan, letting users search for special facilities available in motorway and main route service areas – including Toyota’s own Welcab Stations.

Restroom Finder provides detailed information about individual facilities and searches can be filtered to focus on specific user needs, including presence of handrails, care beds and baby-changing tables. Users can view the results that match their search parameters and then set the appropriate facility as a destination or route stop on their navigation system. At present, the app offers information for three prefectures in the Tokai region (Aichi, Gifu and Mie).

Accessibility information covered by the app includes:

·         Opening times;

·         Number of disabled parking berths;

·         Presence or absence of roofing over disabled parking berths;

·         Ease of access between car park and restrooms plus restroom accessibility;

·         Presence or absence of handrails;

·         Toilet type (barrier-free, etc.)

It will also provide data on convenience stores. The app’s development has been supervised by a (non-profit) organisation, the Iseshima Barrier Free Tour Center, which supports “personal barrier-free” standards for people with special needs. It is functionality is being demonstrated next week by Toyota at Welfare 2015, an international welfare and health industry exhibition in Nagoya.

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