Podcast – Inclusive innovation in transport (Part 2)

By Christine Hemphill | 29th February 2020

In our latest podcast in our series “Inclusive Design – broader perspectives for better experiences” (or vodcast if you prefer video) we continue the theme of opportunities to improve public and private transport inclusion. In this episode, our host, Martyn interviews Jo Reid, the Managing Director of digital design agency, Calvium and David Dew-Veal, Manager of Infrastructure and Government Strategy from the transport strategy team at KPMG. Both these guests have very practical experiences and some powerful overall messages to share about how technology can impact the inclusion of disabled travellers.

Innovation in transport. New ways to improve inclusion

Innovation is moving very fast in the public and personal transport space. It’s opening up exciting new opportunities to remove the pervasive ongoing problems of exclusion. David shares with us the transport accessibility gap in the UK, which currently stands at 26%. That means disabled travellers take 26% less trips than non-disabled travellers. That has many drivers, including that the current provision modes and models of transport are unsuitable or difficult for many disabled travellers.

Innovation can help address this. As an example, connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) could re-enable people who are visually impaired to travel independently in a private vehicle. They can also be used to provide older people safe and efficient community transport such as the trial in the Australian capital of Canberra last year or a similar project in the UK last year, Flourish, supported by Innovate UK as part of their Intelligent Mobility Fund. Conversely, if the needs of all users are not well considered, these new solutions could make things worse by being designed and implemented in such a way that some users find their use difficult or impossible.

The difference between new technologies solving or creating problems in transport, is whether the design, policy, manufacturing and operating businesses consider and develop them for the diverse needs of all users. The best way to ensure innovation enables rather than disables is through the engagement with users who are older, disabled or have other specific access requirements. Jo shares the powerfully positive experience of co-design across two design projects Calvium have undertaken in the podcast, including their most recent one NavSta, where the Open Inclusion research team and panel provided the co-design insight and engagement support.

Enjoy this episode via the embedded link below, or listen via the downloadable podcast version available on Podbean if you prefer that format.

David Dew-Veal, KPMG Transport Strategy Team

At KPMG David has been working across road, rail and beyond in the public transport sector. He helps KPMG clients consider how to manage and optimise the major changes that digitisation and future mobility are providing. Future mobility includes electric, connected and autonomous vehicles as well as new models of business, such as ride-hailing.

David has a deep background in accessible transport needs and opportunities starting from his early career working with Motobility, who lease private vehicles to disabled customers, and continuing into the work he does today for KPMG. He brings strong inclusive perspectives and considerations to his current transport strategy consulting work for KPMG.

In this podcast, he shares some powerful thoughts that can help navigate these huge changes in the transport sector in a way that creates opportunities to address and improve experiences for all travellers, including those with specific disabilities. Please take a listen as they are fascinating and vary from the practical and tactical, such as how to use live data such as lift status to support people who need step-free access, to strategic such as the consideration of needs resulting from increasing vehicle electrification and autonomation.

 Jo Reid, Calvium Digital Design Agency

Jo leads the fabulous user-centred design agency, Calvium based in Bristol. Calvium is very engaged in digital placemaking, which is how people make sense of and engage with physical spaces when supported by digital interfaces and information.

Last year they created a prototype app to help people with invisible impairments more confidently and independently manage rail station environments. They did this by engaging with a wide variety of people including those with heightened anxiety, who are neurodiverse, or have other hidden access needs. This provided a deep understanding of unmet needs where information could improve the overall experience. The Calvium team used these insights to then create and iterate a mobile app that directly addressed these informational needs while people were in a station. Navigation and live relevant updates were particularly valuable. The solutions were iterated with users through three rounds of in-station testing and refinement. As we were running the trials with our panel, we were very impressed by the rapid iteration and improvements that we saw between each version to get to the current solution.

Are you interested in knowing more?

If you are interested in knowing more about transport innovation and inclusion, or how co-design can improve your innovations in other sectors, please feel free to contact us. We would be delighted to discuss your ideas and how we can help bring them to fruition so that they are robust and valuable to the broadest user base.

Last month Christine Hemphill spoke at an event hosted by Catapult Transport on the topic of “People Focussed Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Standards”. She shared some perspectives and a short interactive workshop on why and how vehicles with increasing connectivity and autonomy can be improved by taking an inclusive design approach. The presentation is available on SlideShare here.  In short, inclusive design can enhance the autonomous vehicle design process, which in turn will improve the function, value and positive consumer impact of the eventual solutions.