Skip to main content
a man's hands hold a tablet which is taking a photograph of a model urban airport

The customer experience at the heart of future transport systems

Coventry University's researchers at the National Transport Design Centre (NTDC), put users at the centre of future transport design. Its researchers and industry experts explore the future of transport design amidst a rapidly evolving mobility sector, identifying novel applications for both new and existing technologies.

Experts at the NTDC

At Coventry University's National Transport Design Centre, experienced human factors specialists, psychologists and technologists undertake research into a variety of fields:

  • Human Factors in Future Transport
  • Design Ergonomics
  • Accessibility
  • Passenger experience and design
  • Driver, bicycle and pedestrian simulation
  • Virtual and mixed reality
  • Inclusive design
  • Trust and acceptance of technology and services

The NTDC also benefits from access to university academic experts across these disciplines. They see the current state of change within the mobility industry as a great opportunity to ensure that transport solutions of the future are better equipped to serve the needs of a diverse population.

The value of user-centred design in future transport

The Air One, a first-of-its-kind urban airport that was constructed in Coventry city centre this year, demonstrates alternative modes of transport and is a vision of the future for urban air mobility. It is also a showcase of the UK’s first ‘pop up’ airport and charging hub for future electric vertical take-off and landing aircrafts – such as air taxis and autonomous delivery drones.

The NTDC designed the customer experience of Air One. To do this, researchers used advanced augmented and virtual reality techniques to create a simulated representation of how the airport should look, feel, and function for customers. Members of the public were invited into the NTDC to experience the immersive virtual reality design and provide feedback on the customer experience.

The Air One project shows how successful engagement of users and stakeholders early in the design process can deliver insights before the physical environments are built. It is one example of how university research can accelerate both public readiness for this new technology and the decarbonisation of our country by promoting an exciting, green alternative for urban mobility.

Take a look at this research in action:

Our expertise and methods

The NTDC has a strong track-record of working with business in a variety of ways including consulting, contract research and collaborative industry focused projects.

State of the art facilities

The NTDC design studio is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, including:

  • A 6m, 3D interactive power wall which allows users to explore detailed design and engineering concepts in virtual reality
  • Advanced clay milling facilities for creating physical models of vehicles
  • A driving simulator (driver in the loop)
  • A mixed reality buck
  • Wearable devices for creating virtual, augmented and mixed reality environments
  • Precision CNC milling machines for scale model creation
  • A range of 3D printing technologies

Find out more

To find out more about our research excellence in user centred design, please get in touch with Dr Stewart Birrell, Professor of Human Factors for Future Transport and Dr Paul Herriotts, Professor of Transport Design at the National Transport Design Centre.

Alternatively, email the Clean Growth and Future Mobility team at Coventry University.

 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2023