University College London
Innovation in infrastructure system design often flounders because interaction with human users occurs in an unexpected way (an example of this was the Thames Millennium Footbridge). The models used to design systems such as buses, tube trains and railway coaches have been, until recently, woefully inadequate and unsupported by real evidence and data. This investment expands on the existing and very successful and influential work carried out at UCL (influencing Crossrail, TFL, Thameslink, Singapore MRT) to enable experiments involving people to be carried out on a large scale, in more diverse conditions, investigating accessibility issues for elderly and disabled. This will reduce the cost of ownership of rolling stock and public transport vehicle investments, generate more revenue for operators and provide greater utility for citizens.
The PEARL facility is a set of test rigs for the scientific study of human interactions with infrastructure in the city environment (e.g. Tube trains, stations, airports, streets, urban space etc.) in controlled conditions, as part of UCL’s investment in East London.
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