The Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design (PolyU Design) has announced the establishment of the Research Centre of Future Caring Mobility (Centre). The Centre has recently won a $7.5 million seed funding from the University's competitive research grant with matching funds from PolyU Design and partner institutions. The Centre represents a vision of interdisciplinary, cutting-edge STEAM (STEM + Art & Design) and innovative design approach emphasizing living, caring, and wellbeing under various mobility scenarios.
Prof. Stephen J. Wang, Director of the Centre, remarked that his team is determined to tackle on the "wicked" real-world challenges such as the future caring in transportation, transit UX, communication and integration of personal information in mobility, automobile cybersecurity, smart city fluidity & liveability, UX in emerging transport modes such as versatile & on-demand transport, and wellbeing aspects in connected and autonomous vehicles.
Prof. Wang said: "This Centre will be the first in the world to focus on blurring various mobility related boundaries to envision the future of "caring-moving", and the research and design outcomes will significantly contribute to Hong Kong, Greater Bay Area, and the region."
The Centre will focus on the potential benefits of mobility innovations for the economy, society, health, and wellbeing to perform high-impact research. It will provide a distinctive platform that will enable visionary design-led innovations that are useful, user-friendly, and cutting-edge.
This platform will also benefit the next generation of researchers, designers, and innovators in this field by focusing on the end-users' evolving and unmet needs from both the caring and mobility perspectives, in addition to specialized technological knowledge.
The Centre is currently working with major corporations and welcomes proposals for joint-research projects.
An innovative adaptable vehicle interior design to boost income-earning opportunities and reduce downtime between income-earning events for public passenger transport drivers is one example of caring mobility projects currently on exhibit at the PolyU Design Show 2022. By dividing the labour between cargo fleet, ride-hailing services and taxis, this strategy also enables the delivery industry to employ existing automobile journeys as extra resources to spread out the industry’s high demand.