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Japanese Government to develop stadium evacuation app

Japanese Government to develop stadium evacuation app
December 14, 2017

As part of its ongoing plans to develop and export technologies and expertise that it will utilise for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the Japanese Government has announced it will begin developing an evacuation guidance mobile app to support users in the event of an emergency at stadia throughout the country.

The app will enable spectators at large venues to automatically receive evacuation routes to their smartphones to avoid getting lost in the case of a natural disaster or terrorist attack.

With Japan set to host the Rugby World Cup and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Government hopes to launch the app to include 50 venues in multiple languages.

The app works by receiving a signal that would activate and guide spectators to safety, such as outside the stadium. It would offer maps and audio guidance, as well as being equipped with a function to present routes that avoid stairs for wheelchair users.

The Japanese Government will conduct a feasibility test in 2018 at one or two venues for wheelchair users jointly with the private sector.

It aims to put the app into practical use by September 2019 when the Rugby World Cup starts.

The app could also include additional features, such as providing updates on the congestion in a car park, or buying items without cash at stalls within the stadiums.

A senior official of the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry in charge of developing the app, told Singapore’s Straits Times newspaper “to help each individual spectator evacuate, an app would be best.”

The Government said it intends to include relevant costs for things such as feasibility tests in its 2017 supplementary budget. 

Image: Artist's impression of the new Tokyo Olympic Stadium.

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