Robin Severs (RCA) - 2020-21 Students

Inclusive Design for Shared Autonomous Vehicles

CDA in collaboration with Royal College of Art and Tata Motors

This research will explore and advance vehicle designs to meet the requirements of disabled, elderly and potentially marginalised users of shared autonomous transport systems, and investigate how supporting these users benefits the wider user population. Studies show that the early adopters of shared autonomous vehicles are likely to be these individuals as current transportation systems are not well equipped to support their needs, particularly in rural areas. Often public transport is not inclusive enough, door to door solutions are not well developed, and low-income users are unable to afford the customised personal mobility solutions. As implementation of autonomous transport systems accelerates, there is an opportunity for autonomous vehicles to increase the accessibility of public transport and reduce costs for marginalised populations by providing journey sharing, door to door pick-up and drop- off services and advanced journey scheduling. Inclusive design methods such as co-design, empathy, design anthropology and journey mapping will be key research approaches to observe, interpret and translate people’s needs into vehicle designs. The outputs of these studies will aim to benefit all vehicle users, making autonomous vehicle designs more widely available for the target populations and better for the entire travelling public.

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