Horizon Blog

Smart Mobility User Design – Public Workshop at Nottingham Videogame Arcade

Smart Mobility is a research project funded by Horizon, taking place in partnership with a leading car manufacturers. The User Design element of this project focuses on how we might develop creative and playful approaches to encouraging well being for drivers, using data from the car and beyond. The aim is to create prototype designs for drivers, passengers and other road users. The concept for these designs are being developed in response to two parallel research activities that have looked at driver’s behaviour and well being.

The first Smart Mobility workshop entitled ‘The Driver Not The car’ took place in early November, inviting members of the public to think about how we can make our driving, transportation and journey experiences more environmentally friendly and relaxing… leaving the boredom, frustration, road rage, family squabbles and anxious three point turns (in tiny cul-de sacs) behind us.smart-mobility-workshop_nottingham

The workshop explores how we can design driving experiences, games and journey apps that contribute to our general well being using data from the car and the world outside the car.

We had 9 people attending, they were split into two groups in order to discuss and playfully explore the concepts developed by Dr Rachel Jacobs (an artist and research fellow based at Horizon) and Matt Watkins (a designer from www.wearemudlark.com). These concepts were presented to the participants as ‘The World Outside My Window’ – a game designed for drivers and passengers, such as families doing the school run or road trips and ‘The Car That Talks’ – an application that supports individual drivers to interact with the car in order to rethink their relationship to the car, the road, other people on the road, the environment outside the car and their own driving behaviour.

A key outcome of this workshop was the focus on positive driving experiences, how we can encourage courtesy, politeness and reward drivers for being generous to each other, to be less aggressive and frustrated and think positively about how they navigate stressful experiences whilst driving, in order to consider being positive towards themselves, passengers, other drivers and the environmental impact of driving.

A further workshop will be taking place in London which focuses on how we might encourage these positive rewards through a user interface for drivers and more broadly to connect other road users and a broader transport system.

A wire frame prototype of this interface is being developed in parallel to these workshops which will be presented back to the car manufacturer and research team in December.

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