Discovering the cognitive load and emotional response for autonomous drones in cities

Energy ECS Use Case 1 – Human Factors investigation – Written by Jakob Roséen

Drone (marked in red) landing on the bus

During the past weeks, Tietoevry have explored the human-centered aspects of UC1 Drone Zones, with the aim to assess the needs of various stakeholder groups and to identify opportunities for change in both business and technology.

So what is Drone Zones? Drone Zones is a project within ECS Energy researching the possibilities of autonomous drones in cities and charging of drones on e-bus rooftop and transportable photovoltaic (PV) based charging stations.

Together with Tietoevry’s innovation unit, d|lab, a six-week design study was conducted. The study was carried out in Umeå and Reykjavik covering thoughts and ideas from bus drivers, passengers, and citizens. Together with the project team, we started off by mapping the different perspectives and scope of UC1. This service design exploration was done in close collaboration with the Icelandic partners: Svarmi and Strætó.

During this study, a total of 101 people participated and shared their opinions in different forms and based on different roles.

Citizens showed concerns regarding the sounds of drones, interference with traffic and surveillance. Many mentioned that a drone can cause the focus to shift from the traffic situation towards the drone, and that it can pose a risk to the surroundings. Overall, the bus drivers in the study were positive towards the DroneZones concept. Concerns circled more around how the drone landings would affect their work and responsibility.

These insights will help the DroneZones team to develop the service to meet the expectations and concerns raised by the different stakeholders.

Following the landing process of the drone in the bus

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