COVID-19 prevented UD2020 conference from going ahead in May this year, but not before some of the speakers had finished writing their papers. As we had to postpone yet again to May 2021, it seemed too long to wait. So CUDA’s People and Transport webinar last week provided the perfect opportunity launch the papers.
With the support of Griffith University we can now bring you eleven peer reviewed papers and extended abstracts. As you can see, they cover a wide range of topics. We look forward to hearing from the authors at the conference next year.
Much of our transportation infrastructure was designed last century when the focus was on getting people to work and school. In those days, people with disability were not considered as part of the working or school populations. Times are changing and “average” must evolve to “inclusive” because there is no such thing as the average user.
A magazine article on inclusive transit systemssuggests one way to think about the transit system is to recall an experience in another country. Was it easy to use? Did you feel you could confidently and independently navigate you way to your destination? How was buying a ticket? If you got confused it is likely new users will be confused at home too. These are good benchmarks for home country design.
Australia is due for a third review of the accessible public transport standards. Progress still seems slow and we still have a way to go yet. The standard was published in 2002 and the timeline for compliance allows between 5 and 30 years.
For more information on accessible and inclusive transit systems and transportation, check out the the Transportation section of this website.
Discussions about automated vehicles often include comments about improved mobility for people currently unable to drive. It is assumed people with disability, older people and children will have improved mobility options as this technology is rolled out. But is anyone seriously looking at this aspect? In the excitement of embracing this technology, as with many new developments, there is no guarantee that this group will be considered in the early development phases. So should this aspect fall under the responsibility of the National Disability Strategy to make sure all citizens are included in this major technological change? Two reports explaining the pros and cons of automated vehicles and the issues yet to be solved mention social equity issues, but have little to say about it otherwise.
The Landcom report on page 10 comments that issues of inclusion are talked about but no one has yet looked into it properly. According the report, the Australian Driverless Vehicle Initiative is looking at people with a ‘minor’ impairment as a start point. The Infrastructure Partnerships Australia report gives this idea a brief mention on page 14. Both reports give detailed information and cover all the issues well in terms of technology, infrastructure, policy and regulation. Worth a read, or just a browse, if you want to get across the issues.
The Landcom report is a literature review and is titled, Urban Policy Implications of CAV in Bays Precinct. The Infrastructure Partnerships Australia report is titled, Automated Vehicles: Do we know what road to take?
There are many map apps and trip advisor ICT sites currently available and emerging, each with their own focus. But how can we better understand how people will use the apps? And how do the apps impact on activity and travel behaviour? This is an issue researcher Dick Ettema is keen to investigate. Apps, activities and travel: an conceptual exploration based on activity theory, is a very thorough piece of work for anyone with the time to read through it. Activity theory is used as a systematic way of investigating the effect of ICT on travel behaviour, and also how this links with maintaining social relationships.The author argues that with so many apps/ICTs we need a classification system based on the objectives, practices and embeddedness in community. This would make it easier for researchers to identify differences in the way people use of ICTs/apps, and to identify inequalities in the use of apps. This leads to better understanding equity issues in terms of access to the technology and who profits from them. The full article can be found in Transportation, Special Issue: ICT, Activity Space-Time and Mobility: New insights, new models, new methodologies. March 2018, Issue 2, Pages 267-701.