Co-creation lab – How can autonomous transport systems bring value in cities?
This question has been applied in a SAFER-related project that explored four specific urban challenges through co-creation methods in workshops.
The road map of conceptual ideas generated in the workshop was impressive, e.g. the H 2 H concept, electric intelligent low speed pods for on-demand waste collection, making use of waterways surrounding the area and the T2NETBOX, a solar powered infrastructure of autonomous pods for circular transport of goods and people. The pods operate on both water, land and air.
So far, discussions and projects concerning autonomous vehicles have mainly been related to technology, technical systems, internet services and legislation. There is very little material on how autonomous vehicles affects the city’s infrastructure, traffic, environment, city life and people’s everyday lives. Stakeholders from various professions and backgrounds gathered in these co-creation workshops, where they through creative exercises developed new ideas and concepts related to autonomous transport systems in specific urban contexts. The purpose was not to create ideas for implementation, but to explore hidden values and identify the competence gaps to free them.
Four different co-creation workshops with specific challenges
The co-creation methodology is based on the fact that new knowledge and insights are generated when bringing together people from various relevant disciplines, and through creative and collaborative methods inspire them to discuss and come up with new ideas and concepts. The different areas explored by the workshops were the following:
- Saltholmen – A multimodal transportation hub with access to the archipelago.
- Kista City – Spatial integration in a diverse campus and science park.
- Frihamnen – Transportation of goods and people in a new compact city district.
- City planning office in Göteborg – Implications on urban planning with the advent of autonomous drive.
Inspiring and creative result
The method used in the project has proven to be useful. The ideas in the workshops are impressive and the results may lead to new projects and insights. The project leader Anna Svensson from the City of Gothenburg’s comments on the result:
“We are very pleased, both the project and the report. It was a really fun project and a great way to work. There is so much energy, enthusiasm and competence that is released in a co- creation workshop. We are also very pleased to include an artist who could help the groups to illustrate and thus develop their thoughts. It's a great way to see visions and ideas, but also understand the context and complexity, Anna explains.”
Other examples of ideas generated were the Go Pods; shared autonomous electric pods for goods and people transport to requested specific destinations and the; shared autonomous hybrid (land and water) vehicles for goods and people transport, with vehicle hub and parking.
The attached booklet summarizes the ideas and the result of the project. The project has been run within Drive Sweden, one of Sweden’s seventeen innovation programs. SAFER has been involved in the project, both via partner City of Gothenburg as project leader and Anna Nilsson-Ehle, SAFER’s former director as co-project leader. Chalmers University of Technology has been facilitators of the workshops.