Inclusion and empathy24 Aug 2018

Meeting special mobility needs in the age of autonomy

Almost one in five people in the UK have some form of disability and by 2035 over a third of us with be of pensionable age.

With this in mind the RAC Foundation and the Royal Automobile Club commissioned students on the Royal College of Art’s Intelligent Mobility MA course to come up with designs and technology that will offer mobility to these groups of people in the coming era of driverless transport.

The 40 students formed their ideas while working with a range of people currently coping with mobility challenges, as well as the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee.

The designs included:

  1. Up-Cycle – autonomous bike
  2. Hypergon – adaptive living skin to ease the symptoms of, and increase movement of, those suffering from Multiple Sclerosis.
  3. Gyroscopic four-seater motorcycle that could access bicycle lanes

Among the insights gained through the work was the need for empathy with the potential users of the designs and a recognition that disability and transport challenges come in many different aspects.