Bath CAV design sprint
We recently launched our Global Design Sprints focusing on the topic of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles. We kicked off the series of our official Sprints in our Bath office.
Our first Sprint was positively received, and we are really looking forward to taking some key lessons learnt forwards to help run the next five Sprints across our other offices in London, New York, Berlin, Kuala Lumpur and Riyadh.
The Sprints will come to a close with a Cities Conversation event held in early 2017 centred around the key ideas and concepts generated and developed during the Sprints.
Our first Sprint saw 20 attendees hosted at our Bath office, consisting of BuroHappold staff, as well as representatives from other organisations and institutions (including Grant Associates, Jones Lang LaSalle, The University of West England and Ngenuity). We spent the four hours during the Sprint imagining how urban streets in Bath can be reclaimed and reimagined through the introduction of connected and autonomous vehicles.
The Design Sprint follows a process (summarised in the graphic above) that is set out to help those who are perhaps unfamiliar with using a design process to come up with a solution to a problem in a short space of time.
Attendees at the Sprint followed the process to reach some very interesting ideas relating to our chosen Bath specific sites. Ideas ranged from removing all of the lines and street furniture from a busy junction to open the space up to people and nature (as shown in the image below), turning the surface of a wide thoroughfare into a green area with sheep and autonomous sheep dogs, confining CAVs to one lane either side with allocated drop-off points, creating a street with two storeys with autonomous vehicles below ground and cyclists and pedestrians above ground, and creating new business opportunities for a busy street by replacing the traffic with trees and adding new retail units filled with cafes and shops to line the streets.
These ideas begin to illustrate new thinking as to how Bath (and eventually our other Sprint cities) may look in the future and help us, as engineers, to understand what we need to consider when planning cities of the future.