Horizon CDT Research Highlights

Research Highlights

Data driven public/private integrated transport solutions - design, integration, ethics, privacy and regulatory issues

  Phuong Anh Nguyễn (2022 cohort)


Transport is an enabler for all daily activities in our society and is essential to national economic development. Providing public services to all members of society and distributing investment and financial capital to the programmes, places, and people who require it most is the Government's commitment stated in the Government Diversity strategy and Levelling Up the United Kingdom programme (Civil Service, 2022; HM Government, 2022). However, expressed sentiments, attitudes, preferences, and behaviour among passengers vary for several reasons (Mooradian & Swan, 2006). It is necessary to comprehend the behaviour, demands, and preferences of various population groups to provide the most appropriate intervention. Another question is whether large-scale approaches administered to the entire population will be beneficial or whether the interventions should be tailored to specific communities with distinct demographic and behavioural characteristics (Arian et al., 2021). 

Persona is a powerful tool for communication and interactive design (Caballero et al., 2014), which could be utilised as a design tool to create user-centric policies and services (Gonzalez de Heredia et al., 2018). A well-defined persona imposes constructive restrictions and boundaries on the problem space, thereby enhancing the quality of design decisions, which helps to prioritise the investment resources (Haines & Mitchell, 2014). 

This research aims to comprehend the multimodal travel behaviour of distinct demographic groups and assess the impact of specific transport policies on these groups. In which the two main objectives are:

  1. Combing multiple data sources to create travel personas, defining and describing each persona and identifying which factors influence their travel behaviour and benefits. 
  2. Using personas knowledge to develop a framework that supports transport planning. 

In particular, the research will examine the following research questions:

  1. How can data from multiple sources be manipulated to deepen the understanding of travellers' journeys?
  2. How are personas used in transport planning? 
  3. How do we measure the impact of transport policies on different personas?

The research will be explored and developed in partnership with colleagues from Department for Transport, focussing on the context of the UK domestic transport system. The research will be divided into two parts. 

The first section is devoted to developing traveller personas by combining and analysing multiple sources, which are both objective and subjective data, including the national transport survey (2002 - 2021) and a digital footprint source. 

In the second sector, the research will create an evaluation framework which compares the impact of different policies on personas by employing human factors methods and policy analysis. Instead of recommending a particular policy, the research will concentrate on the improvement of decision-making techniques. The framework will provide transport planners and policymakers with a comprehension of the entire system and the cost-benefits analysis of various alternatives. 

This simulator will direct innovation, investment, and policy-making decisions to optimise the public benefits toward sustainable transportation. On the other hand, a thorough comprehension of passenger behaviour enables transport providers to improve their services to enhance customer satisfaction. Consequently, transport users benefit from a more accessible and sustainable transportation system. 

This author is supported by the Horizon Centre for Doctoral Training at the University of Nottingham (UKRI Grant No. EP/S023305/1).