Skip to main content

Living Lab 1: Future playing rules of everyday travel

The study spanned six months between June and November 2018, as well as a baseline measurement month before the interventions were presented to the participants. Throughout the study, all the participants’ trips were logged using the mobile phone app TravelVU.

Nine participants were introduced to three different economic incentives, designed to promote more environmentally friendly transportation choices. As this was an explorative study, the aim was not to evaluate the effectiveness of the incentives. Instead, their purpose was to trigger the participants to reflect upon their mobility practices and choices. In this way, the participants’ reflections and responses let us explore more complex underlying factors and identify barriers and opportunities to change.

In this Living Lab the intervention comprised of three different economic incentives connected to mobility, designed to function as a trigger material. Trigger materials, or probes, are frequently used in design practice to elicit user reflection and responses. In this case, offering new information and economic incentives triggered the participants to reflect upon their everyday mobility practices. By interviewing the participants and logging their travel patterns over time, reseachers aimed to explore how underlying factors such as mobility needs, societal norms, or cognitive biases may support or hinder more sustainable mobility practices.

The three interventions in this living lab were:

  • making the costs of car ownership transparent
  • cheaper public transport during off-peak hours
  • economic rewards for bicycling

To be able to get an in-depth understanding of needs, attitudes and mobility practices and still get a broad range of experiences, researchers wanted a small but relatively heterogeneous group. As the living lab was explorative, the aim was not to enable statistical analysis, but to gain a rich understanding of several different individual perspectives. Participants were randomly recruited outside the main grocery stores in four previously identified neighborhoods in the southern Stockholm region. These neighborhoods had different distances to the city center and different access to public transport, where railbound modes were seen as most important. The reason for recruiting at grocery stores was that that they are visited by most local inhabitants, and commonly reached by car. Researchers had decided that all participants should be car-owners, since society has much to gain if MaaS could replace the private car.

After brief phone interviews 20 participants took part in a one-month base measurement of their everyday travel by use of the TravelVU app. After assessment of the travel data, 9 participants were selected. There were slightly more men than women, but the group provides a good variation of mobility related factors such as family situation, housing area, car use and car costs. All the participants expressed their consent to anonymized publication of their data.