Urban planning workshop at Shotl

On March 16th Shotl received the visit of a group of nine students of the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) to take part in a mobility workshop organised by the business development team at Shotl.

The purpose of the activity was to evaluate how demand-responsive transport (DRT) and autonomous mobility could shape the architecture and land use of cities, rural areas and business parks. The proposal was to imagine a future where owning a car would not be necessary anymore, and a moving fleet of driverless shared vehicles would always be available at just one click.

During the first part of the field trip, the students enjoyed an onboard experience on a ‘smart shuttle’ powered by Shotl to go from Sant Cugat RENFE’s train station to the residential area of Can Barata to finish the trip at the premises of Shotl headquarters. The hands-on experience included a ride request and the vehicle tracking on the Shotl smartphone App, plus a subsequent shared ride on a smart minibus.

After the experience, the group provided their feedbacks on the Shotl App and engaged in a co-creation session to predict how a system of shared autonomous demand responsive transport service would affect the design and development of our future streets and citizens.

The students divided into 3 different groups and worked on different ideas that were presented to the Shotl team. These are the three inspiring insights they shared at the end of the session:

1) Narrower street lanes

The first group lead by Ivan from Brooklyn (NY) foresaw a positive impact on the way our streets are planned and designed, in regards to both the number and the width of its lanes. High capacity streets with multiple lanes such as Carrer Aragó street in Barcelona could be reduced and replaced with green areas or larger loading zones. Changes in urban traffic planning and its management would allow a much more efficient distribution of vehicles thanks to real time optimal routing.

2) No more ‘taxi-parents’

A group lead by Camil, from Lebanon analysed the impact of DRT on school transport in suburban and rural areas. According to them, with an on-demand App-powered school bus service parents would not have to worry about driving their children to school every day and pick them up afterwards. Users would also track the live location of their children during their morning and afternoon commutes as well as after-school activities. It not only would free up parents’ time but also personal car trips and regular congestion around schools would be avoided.

3) On-demand shuttles in college campuses

Several kilometres can separate different buildings in university campuses where staff and students need to move within. Yet often bus services are not attractive enough due to low frequency and serpentinuous trajectories. As a consequence, people depend on a car of their own. According to a group lead by Venessa from Nigeria, students could be willing to pay a surcharge for a more flexible “premium” shuttle service.

This workshop is part of a series of activities Shotl is organising in collaboration with local universities in Barcelona. As per the positive feedback from the team at Shot, students proved to be skilled visionaries and passionate future architects.

We can’t wait to have you back with us very soon.

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