PAV partners put people at the heart of the machine!

27 October 2022 - Published by Sophie Rasbash

Members of the PAV team recently ran a workshop as part of the International Mobility Summit, in Copenhagen. The workshop was entitled “Autonomous vehicles: putting people at the heart of the machine”, and drew on some key findings and discussions within both PAV and ART-Forum 


The workshop was led by Daria Belkouri (RGU), Professor Ditte Bendix Lanng (Aarhus) and Professor Richard Laing (Northumbria, formerly of RGU), and included discussion of technological advances in mobility, the importance of design and design process, safety, privacy and use cases. In keeping with much of the wider summit, much of this was placed in the context of human centred design, and it was useful to have so many relevant examples literally on the doorstep in Copenhagen. 

We will write further on outcomes from the workshop in the coming weeks, including thoughts from the group on journey mixing, energy, mobility hubs, regulation and the “ecosystem of mobilities”. The discussion also touched on some key ethical issues associated with AVs, including the memorable question posed byLasseSchelde, “is the dog allowed to go to the vet by itself?”. 


Discussion of use cases then encompassed issues including the use of AVs for mass transit (avoiding the need for rail infrastructure), rural and urban connectivity, parcel delivery, and multi modality (incorporating AVs in a wider system). Against this, there was a discussion of the challenges we face in terms of shared space, where any town or city can only include so many segregated traffic lanes. We then closed with a discussion about how the subject of AVs needs to be viewed from a holistic position, where rather than being a transport issue, it becomes part of a wider solution to our changing living environments. After all, finding desirable outcomes will require meeting user needs, making lives better, and must rest on political vision and will. 

Heartfelt thanks to all of the workshop participants – it was a brilliant discussion, and we really appreciate your willingness to take part and offer so many fascinating ideas, thoughts and experiences. Thanks also to Electronomous for enabling us to run the event, and for all of their help and enthusiasm.