UK explores sentiment mapping for intelligent transport system

June 8, 2014 by Nancy Owano weblog
UK explores sentiment mapping for intelligent transport system
Pod side

Projects brewing at a UK government-funded research center for transport include two-passenger pods and sentiment mapping. Sentiment mapping is considered a way to better understand what passengers think and feel as they use transportation services to get from place to place. A report in The Guardian on Saturday said that an innovation center is being launched in Milton Keynes to serve as a facility for the government's Transport Systems Catapult (TSC), part of a network of seven technology and innovation canters. The projects are driving collaborations among academics, and technologists, and business people. The Transport Systems Catapult has ambitious goals; the aim is to drive business growth, attract investment, and create jobs through Intelligent Mobility innovation, according to the TSC web site. With the facility at Milton Keynes, TSC aims to be a collaborative center enabling the UK to become globally recognized "as the go-to place for expertise in intelligent transport systems."

As for sentiment mapping, this is a project that could map trouble spots by noticing drivers and passengers' feelings expressed on , in the event of service flaws, breakdowns and delays. The system could know what people are thinking and feeling and also locate that information in time and place.

"Fuming in a traffic jam? Stuck on a stationary train? Standing waiting for the bus that was due 30 minutes ago? Soon you could get the chance to share your frustration," said The Guardian.

The TSC is working with the Royal College of Art and Commonplace, a crowd-based sentiment mapping application for collecting peoples' opinions.

The idea is that with the use of social media and phone apps as tools, those who manage systems can get realtime visualizations of where problems occur and what traveler perceptions really are. The benefits are seen in both directions, both allowing transport providers to be more responsive transport providers can intervene to fix a problem as soon as it occurs, or improve long-term planning by becoming aware of repeated issues in perceptions—and also empowering travelers with a greater voice over their own experiences. As such, the public could feel more involved in transport planning, in turn building stronger connections between the two.

"Sentiment mapping gives you the opportunity to put passengers, users, right at the center of their operational decision-making," Mike Saunders, co-founder of Commonplace, said, according to The Guardian, Dr Stephen Boyd Davis of the Royal College of Arts, who is working on the project, said. "The whole transport sector is increasingly good at using every kind of technology, from posters to digital media to social media to send information to passengers, but [is] not necessarily very good at finding out what the passenger experience is like,"

Earlier this year, the TSC held two workshops on transport disruption and sentiment mapping, to engage industry, gather opinion and explore support. Transport providers, commuters, mobility groups and digital experts participated in the workshops. Traveler reactions to transport disruptions were among the focus areas.

As for the , Coventry-based RDM Group, engineering service providers, are preparing the manufacture of the LUTZ Pathfinder pods. LUTZ stands for Low Carbon Urban Transport Zone. RDM and TSC are to work with Oxford University's Mobile Robotics Group to create three electric-powered pods to be tested on pavements of Milton Keynes next year. A key benefit of these pods, designed as unmanned vehicles for two people, is that they are forms of low-carbon transport.

They will move along, at about 12 kilometers per hour (7 mph). These are pavement-based pods intended to increase the number of mobility options available to the public, while reducing congestion and carbon emissions. With safety issues in mind, until testing is complete, the three pods will be manned by trained human operators. When RDM completes production of the first vehicle by the end of 2014.Oxford University robotics experts will install their technology in the vehicle and begin test-track trials in early 2015.

Explore further: Are Magnetically Levitating 'Sky Pods' the Future of Travel?

More information: *

Related Stories

Are Magnetically Levitating 'Sky Pods' the Future of Travel?

September 23, 2009

( -- As a society, we are increasingly interested in finding new ways of transportation that are cleaner for the environment. New concepts in mass transit seem to be one of the main ways to move toward this future. ...

Alert system avoids commuter chaos

August 7, 2013

Imagine never being trapped in peak hour traffic again. Commuters, your frustrations are over. QUT transport experts have designed an alert service that warns you when your travel route is congested or your public transport ...

U.K. town to deploy driverless pods to replace busses

November 5, 2013

( —Milton Keynes, a town north of London, has announced that it will be deploying 100 driverless pods (officially known as ULTra PRT transport pods) as a public transportation system. A similar system has been ...

Investment helps keep transport up to speed

April 16, 2014

Greater investment in education and training for employees will be required to meet the future needs of the transport and logistics industry, according to recent reports by Monash University researchers.

Intelligent transport systems

May 20, 2014

Technology developed by the University of Leicester is to play a vital part in a new million-euro transport project of the European Commission's Competitiveness and Innovation programme of the European Mobile and Mobility ...

Recommended for you

Drone market to hit $10 billion by 2024: experts

October 3, 2015

The market for military drones is expected to almost double by 2024 to beyond $10 billion (8.9 billion euros), according to a report published Friday by specialist defence publication IHS Jane's Intelligence Review.

Radio frequency 'harvesting' tech unveiled in UK

September 30, 2015

An energy harvesting technology that its developers say will be able to turn ambient radio frequency waves into usable electricity to charge low power devices was unveiled in London on Wednesday.

Professors say US has fallen behind on offshore wind power

September 29, 2015

University of Delaware faculty from the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE), the College of Engineering and the Alfred Lerner School of Business and Economics say that the U.S. has fallen behind in offshore wind ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Jun 09, 2014
"The system could know what people are thinking and feeling"?
I can only describe this belief as delusional. As a person with high-functioning autism, there are often time when I don't know myself what I am thinking or feeling.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.