Investigating Digital Innovations for the Community Transport Sector

In June 2016 the VIC team won a Proof of Concept Award from Innovation, Impact and Business department at the University of Exeter. This Award funded an investigation into the potential for developing software solutions and smartphone applications to improve the recruitment, deployment and management of volunteer drivers in community transport services.

The project began with an investigation of the systems through which TAP (Age UK Cornwall’s Community Transport Department) currently manage volunteer drivers. A survey was then conducted with the volunteer drivers to understand the issues from their perspective and gauge the appetite for  volunteer smartphone applications. These investigations identified three areas for innovation. Firstly around mapping volunteer driver need and volunteer driver capacity, secondly around the process of volunteer driver routing and thirdly around volunteer driver support.

Following this the VIC team commissioned iGeolise to analyse a sample week of volunteer driving data using their Travel Time technology. In essence the Travel Time technology maps journeys in minutes, not miles. This focus on travel time, rather than travel distance, produces a completely different geography of possibilities. As such this technology has enormous potential to revolutionise both how we understand geographies of volunteering, but also how the voluntary sector recruits and deploys volunteers in different areas of Cornwall.

This film outlines the challenges for the community transport sector and then sets out how new digital technologies could improve efficiency in service delivery.

If you are interested in supporting the next phase of i.map.care please get in touch.