Carnegie Mellon University
December 10, 2012

News Brief: Tiramisu App Wins FCC Chairman’s Award

Contact: Byron Spice / 412-268-9068 /

TiramisuPITTSBURGH—The Carnegie Mellon research team that created Tiramisu, a smartphone app that enables transit riders to create real-time information about bus schedules and seating, has won this year’s Federal Communications Commission Chairman’s Award for Advancement in Accessibility in the Geo-Location Services category.

The crowdsourcing app was launched in Pittsburgh in 2011 and now also is in use in Syracuse, N.Y. Preparations are under way to deploy it in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Tiramisu Transit was developed by researchers in the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Accessible Public Transportation (RERC-APT), funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. The work also is supported in part by CMU’s Traffic21 initiative and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The Tiramisu team is led by Aaron Steinfeld, co-director of RERC-APT and associate research professor in the Robotics Institute; Anthony Tomasic, senior systems scientist in the Institute for Software Research; John Zimmerman, associate professor in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute and the School of Design; and Charlie Garrod, assistant teaching professor in the Institute for Software Research.

Now in their second year, the FCC awards are intended to encourage technological innovation in communication-related areas and to recognize engineers, researchers, and other technologists
whose energies and perseverance contribute to technologies that help people with disabilities to
obtain and succeed at jobs and participate more actively in the community.

The projects being honored this year in eight categories will be recognized during a Dec. 19 ceremony at FCC headquarters in Washington, D.C. The winning projects will be displayed in the FCC’s Technology Experience Center along with other cutting-edge technologies that provide access to persons with disabilities from Dec. 19-31. The Technology Experience Center is open to the public.