A very serious game
ITS (UK) Member James Gleave of Transport Futures brings scenario based gaming to Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). Over 150 people have played his Future of Mobility game in its various initial phases. The game is now near its final version – though customisation is of course always an option – and I was lucky enough to play it the other day.
It is an excellent way of being willingly or forcibly removed from your area of professional expertise and personal comfort zone. The game makes you take up roles in the game of transport planning, provision and use which you would never normally consider. Sure, being a consultant, a central government civil servant, a local authority councillor, all roles quite easy to inhabit. But a lobby group, an independent shop, a school? This is a challenging but healthy stretch for most of us. Then the game throws in some global developments or changes to national laws and the players really have to think.
Playing Future of Mobility makes you think about the impact of transport provision on every area of our society, and the impact citizens and businesses have on transport provision in return. A local authority has the power to deprive a village of its public transport links and force those who do not have access to cars to move elsewhere. But citizens have the power to determine how road use is paid for – remember the road user charging petition and its 2 million + signatories?
Automated vehicles are in high favour with government and with us in the ITS sector. But the ultimate safety benefits which could accrue from banning person-driven vehicles and avoiding a mixed fleet scenario are in reality out of our reach for at least a few decades to come. Open the discussion about that piece of legislation and the RUC petition will seem like a timid whisper.
James says that of the 150+ players of Future Mobility so far, a small number were reluctant to engage because they could not see how the ramifications of their day jobs could be of any interest or importance to them. These are the people who really need to play, and thanks to James and his Game we are all having our professional horizons expanded.
There will be further opportunities to get involved and take part in playing the game. For more details on this and expressing your interest, get in touch with Rukshan here.
For more information on the game itself click here