Challenge: Autonomous for All of Us
Brief for Autonomous for All of Us
Citizens of the world all require transportation, but often and unfortunately our aging population and those of us with disabilities remain underserved. We require mobility and services to get to work, see our families, and access the world in a manner most of us take for granted. We’d like to change that by creating solutions to make true and complete mobility accessible to all of us.
For this challenge, we want you to design the most inclusive experience for Olli riders of all ages and abilities, focusing on one or more of four specific categories of needs: mobility impairments, visual impairments, hearing impairments, and cognitive disabilities.
The Problem is LargeAccording to the World Health Organization, over one billion people in the world have some sort of disability. It’s 1.2 billion, that’s 15% of the world’s population.
In the United States alone, over 57 million people, approximately 1 out of every 5 people have a disability. These disabilities come in many forms, including physical mobility, vision, hearing, or cognitive function. In some cases people experience multiple disabilities.
Beyond what most would consider to be disabilities, there is also a growing elderly population that will require similar mobility solutions to accommodate their needs. The United Nations estimates by 2050, 30% of the world’s population will be over age 60 and the “80 years plus” population will have tripled.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and many other organizations have made a big difference in the lives of those with disabilities. However as technology advances there are opportunities to innovate around new solutions and not just design to the minimum requirements.
With the creation of Olli, a bold new type of self-driving community shuttle, Local Motors is committed to developing an inclusive experience that supports the needs of older adults and the disabled community. Via co-creation, we want to develop robust accessibility options that far exceed just meeting compliance regulations to deliver an unrivaled suite of amenities and supporting systems to these communities.
How you can help fix it
That’s where you, the community, come in. Together we can be a source of inspiration and new ideas that drive this project forward to promote independence and enhance the lives of millions of people with disabilities.
For much of the community, this is an exercise in empathy and understanding. You might consider what it means to be disabled, and how you would travel around your neighborhood or city? While a typical definition of having a disability would include a physical or mental condition that limits movements, senses, or activities, we’ve decided to focus on four main categories of; mobility, vision, hearing, and cognitive, while also recognizing that these categories may overlap in communities such as the deaf blind.
Many people with mobility impairments rely on assistive devices such as wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, canes and crutches. This track is focused on supporting riders with those devices, while also looking for meaningful solutions to accommodate other items, such as oxygen tanks, portable dialysis machines, service dogs and other items that need to be easily transported on and off Olli. This track will require a larger emphasis on the design and engineering of Olli, but beyond ramps, we encourage you to think about the rider experience within the vehicle, as well as information that can be provided on accessibility features such as location of curb-cutouts, elevators and ramps at pickup and destination points.
Entries focusing on mobility impairments should account for riders that are/have:
- Unable to use any limbs
- Uses a mobility chair
- Wheelchair user
- Mobility scooter
- Assisted movement
- Aided with cane
- Aided with walker
- Aided with braces which restrict movement
Designing a riding experience for people with visual impairments presents unique challenges, and calls for deep empathy. Visually impaired riders often make natural adaptations to adjust to their environment, and use assistive tools like white canes or guide dogs. Technology offers new ways of complementing these existing methods, ranging from haptic feedback to subtle audio cues.
Entries focusing on visual impairments should consider riders that are/have:
- Uses white cane
- Uses guide dog
- Partially blind
- Some vision, significantly visually impaired
- Color blindness
- Extreme light sensitivity
Most current public transit systems rely on audio cues to communicate information, from notifications of stopping points, door opening or closing chimes, or emergency warnings. However, text based systems and other technologies, including sound amplification, bluetooth integration and haptic innovations can create an experience for not just people with hearing loss or who are deaf, but also non-disabled riders who do not hear or notice these alerts.
Entries focusing on hearing impairments should account for riders that are/have:
- Fully deaf
- People with hearing loss
- Debilitative tone deafness
There are a vast array of cognitive impairments, each with their own unique challenges and needs. From developmental impairments to psychological disorders, designing the Olli experience for the cognitively disabled should encompass clear communication delivered in a variety of formats (audio, text, symbols) with multiple cues and reminders.
Entries focusing on cognitive impairments should account for riders that are/have:
- Developmental impairments
- Slow mental processes
- Autism Spectrum disorders
- Psychological disorders
- Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease
Requirements for Autonomous for All of Us
Ignition Kit File Downloads
- Clearly identify the problem(s) you are solving, and make sure that message is clear to your audience.
- Clear vision of idea around Accessible Olli (examples where applicable)
- Compelling and well defined use case
- Clear indication of the categories your solution services - why and how
- Visualization of idea through storyboards or detailed wireframes
- Visualization of any design adjustments made to Olli (if applicable)
- Must use Olli, but can include how Olli interacts with environment and user (i.e Technology)
- Identify portions of your proposal to be hardware or software, and describe the integration between the two.
- List any proposed tech partners
- Clear and Concise examples of how benefits and features will better accessibility on Olli - why and how
List of “must haves” visually so that we are able to clearly see aspects of the entry
- Display the solution used on Olli with minimal changes to exterior styling (where necessary), while the interior has more freedom to accommodate accessibility.
- Interior view (if applicable to your proposal)
- Exterior view (if applicable to your proposal)
- Packaging view (if applicable to your proposal)
- Storyboards (if applicable to your proposal)
- Attached PDF (if applicable to your proposal)
- Be focused on your solution - it’s ok if your solution doesn’t service all the categories.
- Sell your idea - do you think the category you are servicing will understand your concept?
- A well defined idea doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be visually superior, but make sure your concept presentation is clear. Better to have more pages than to cram too much information on one page.
- If you have the ability to provide code, feel free to do so!
- Integration of off-the -shelf solutions is great if you are doing it in a new way, but innovative fresh thinking is more appealing.
- Showing utilization of Olli and Watson in conjunction with other tech encouraged.
This is Co-Creation, don’t be afraid to engage in our discussions, or reach out to other community members to get answers to your questions. The better you network with others, the better the chance you will get fair evaluation for your entry.
You can also prototype your idea!
If you'd like to prototype an idea, that’d be great! Would even love to see video of your prototype in action. Please provide code as public github project and include URL in your submission. We can then fork your code on #AccessibleOlli github https://github.com/AccessibleOlli
Any code submissions are fine. Feel free to tell us what hardware, sensors, actuators, et al. that your code requires. Note that #AccessibleOlli is being built upon Olli so ideal is code that fits well with the current Olli work. Some of the software already used in Olli includes:
- NodeJS running on in-vehicle on a Linux system
- HTML5 with Angular, other frameworks are also OK
- Jasmine unit test for NodeJS and web services, Karma unit test runner for Angular
- APIs on IBM Cloud including Watson, IoT, Weather, Bluemix, et al.
Download additional reference links
Download additional background documents
Relevant Tech to Consider
Olli is a new form of public transportation. It’s an autonomous shuttle. It has no driver, and controlled essentially by a small black box – which poses a unique challenge. If there is no bus driver, then who welcomes you aboard?Who do you talk to? Who tells you what to do? Who answers your questions and addresses your concerns? Who tells you where you’re going and when you’re arriving.
For Local Motors the answer has been to give Olli a “cognitive rider experience” using IBM Watson technology. IBM Watson plays an important role on Olli and is IBM’s cognitive computing system capable of communicating with riders in natural language.
There are many potential roles for Watson on Olli, and many potential applications or solutions to invent. Watson can not only can help people onboard Olli, but may play a role in activating a wheelchair ramp, providing information and updates during the ride, or controlling other physical aspects of Olli for example. We could also see new smartphone apps that connect the disabled riders with Watson in new meaningful ways. Some may be only simple adjustments to Olli, or propose major changes with ground-up thinking.
Some of the technologies to consider in your #AccessibleOlli solution:
- Capacitive touch interfaces (not limited to touch screens)
- OLED displays embedded into glass and plastic surfaces
- IBM Watson AI
- Natural Language processing
- Sign language to text and text to sign translation
- Bluetooth and Telecoil integration
- Access and integration to municipal or campus accessibility features - curb cut outs, ramps, elevators
- Visual and Facial recognition
- Enhanced audio with zoning and sound cancelling
- Speech to text and text to speech
- Cloud applications
- Smartphone connectivity (Direct via RFID, NFC, VPN, Bluetooth,WiFi network, not through IoT)
- Wearables (ability to communicate through sensors worn by the riders)
- Eye Gaze (for the verbally impaired who also lack motor function to type or touch a screen)
- Big Data (and how to utilize it for benefit of the user)
- Robotics (not limited to wheelchair ramp)
- Storage for devices used for accessibility, and more
Jury, Prizes, and Innovation Awards
Since we are taking on a complex challenge with #AccessibleOlli, the prize structure will reflect this new type of challenge. There will be four (4) tracks to focus on, enabling you to win one of the tracks, or a larger prize amount if your winning proposal has a larger scope and incorporates more than one track. These four (4) tracks are the same as previously stated; (1) mobility; (2) vision; (3) hearing; (4) cognitive. Prize money will be offered for both first and second place winners, for each track. The selection process is decided by a jury of experts, which we will introduce later in the brief.
As mentioned, there is a possibility of overlap, to give entries that are versatile and well thought out the ability to be properly rewarded. So be inclusive in your thinking and develop solutions that cover the various types of disabilities the best way possible. But to be clear, it is better to have a focused and well executed solution rather than trying to solve all of the issues in one entry. And please be mindful of the issues you are trying to tackle and form the most compelling solution you can.
There will also be prizes for best overall entry, community favorite, and 5 innovation awards. This brings the total to 15 prizes available. The selection of best overall entry will be decided by the jury as well. The community favorite is determined simply by the voting results, and the innovation awards will be determined by the SMEs (Subject Matter Experts), Community Managers, the jury, but mostly by your comments on the entry. We want to encourage that you reach out to your peers for critique, and also reach out to critique your peers so that peer evaluation will help us to determine who deserves additional recognition within your ranks. Each innovation prize will be noted next to the winning announcement with a quote from the comments helping to explain why it was chosen. So in addition to assembling a strong entry, be honest, fair, and constructive with your comments and establish a community network, it could help you win an innovation award!
Winners will be announced on or around August 15, 2017!
Challenge Terms and Conditions