Ampel-Pilot for iOS available in the...


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Ampel-Pilot for iOS available in the Apple AppStore

In 2017, the app "Ampel-Pilot" was introduced for Android, which allows blind and visually impaired people to cross the street independently at pedestrian crossings without pedestrian lights with acoustic or tactile signalers, using their smartphone. The app, which recognizes the red and green phases of the traffic light by using the camera of the smartphone, was developed by a project group of the Faculty of Computer Science of the University of Applied Sciences Augsburg in cooperation with the Institute for Ophthalmic Research of the University of Tübingen.

The target group appreciated the application. Soon the wish appeared to develop a version for the iPhone, as this is a widespread device among blind and visually impaired people.

Patrick Valenta, a student at the University of Applied Sciences Augsburg, developed a version for the iPhone as part of his bachelor thesis. In addition, the recognition of the pedestrian lights and the traffic light phases was completely revised and is now based on the artificial neural network "YOLO", which was trained with more than 3,000 images of pedestrian traffic lights, collected by volunteers throughout Germany. As a result, the accuracy of the recognition, as well as the speed of the evaluation, improved significant.

The advancement of the app was only possible due to the generous support of the Reinhard Frank-Stiftung, the PRO RETINA-Stiftung and the Dr. Gabriele Lederle-Stiftung.

The app is available in the Apple AppStore for free. Since its release, the app has been installed almost 400 times and is now used 30 times a day on average.

The app is now also used by rehabilitation trainers for the mobility training of blind and visually impaired people.

For the near future, it is planned to revise the Android version of the app, so that it also benefits from the use of the artificial neural network for detection. Photos of pedestrian traffic lights have been collected by volunteers during the past few months. With the help of this, the detection should be further improved and made even more reliable.

Those who would like to participate and support the project can do this easiest by photographing pedestrian traffic lights. For this purpose, a project was submitted for participation at, which will be launched in the next few weeks.

Furthermore, in cooperation with Nikolauspflege Stuttgart, a study will be carried out to objectively evaluate the use of the app and to collect feedback for the further improvement and development of the app.

More information about the app "Ampel-Pilot", the support of the project and the source code, which is available as open source, can be found on the homepage of the project at

The feedback in the AppStore are consistently positive, as the comments show:

Highly recommended
by c.Thiessen - 11.09.2018

I have tested this app and it works really well. I am now much more mobile and very happy that I was given this opportunity. I will use this app every day for my commute many, many thanks to the developers.

Super App
by cnohno - 30.08.2018

Tried the app for the first time in our village at a pedestrian light without an acoustic signal, it worked right away. I'm excited.

Never guess traffic lights again
by anjapfaff - 04.08.2018

Never again run across the street in good luck. Even at long distances on a four-lane road with tram tracks, the traffic light is reliably detected. Further tests follow. Thanks to the developers for this helpful app.

Great thing
by Brailly615 - 03.07.2018

I'm excited! I first tried the app at a traffic light, which has an acoustic signal. It worked. My next attempt was at a traffic light, where the acoustic signal had failed, but other pedestrians were waiting on the roadside. Both times it worked reliably and very fast. The operation is very simple, you have to hold the smartphone only at chest height with the display in the direction of your own body and the detection works promptly. It is not necessary to focus the traffic light exactly. Test in darkness and in bright sunlight are still pending!

Thank you for this great support!


Universitätsklinikum Tübingen
Forschungsinstitut für Augenheilkunde

Elfriede-Aulhorn-Str. 7
72076 Tübingen

Dr. Torsten Straßer
E-mail: torsten.strasser[at]
Phone: 07071 29-87793