Incentives and Gaming Environments for Changing Commuter Behaviour



Incentives and Gaming Environments for Changing Commuter Behaviour

Authors

Martin Kracheel, Universite Du Luxembourg

Description

The I-GEAR research project explores how to change the mobility behaviour of 
commuters in Luxembourg through the use of gamification and mobile applications.

Abstract

1. OVERVIEW
The I-GEAR (Incentives and Gaming Environments
for Automobile Routing; http://igear.lu) project
addresses challenges relating to road traffic
congestion through the use of mobile technology.

The idea behind I-GEAR is that traffic participation
can be considered as a part of a game. Our
approach is to develop and test new approaches
that bring together gamification, mobile applications and collaboration as a method of encouraging people to undertake new commuter behaviours that it is hoped will reduce traffic congestion.

The project aims to produce a real live mobility
game application that changes mobility behaviour
by offering players alternatives to their routine
mobility behaviours. In order to develop a mobile
game that offers its users alternative mobility
options that reduce their time spent in traffic and
emissions and that also save them money, we
needed to have detailed knowledge of the existing
mobility patterns of commuters in Luxembourg.

We developed our own methodology that consists
of an online questionnaire and a smartphone
application (Driver Diaries) for the extraction of
mobility behaviour and routines based on GPS data
and user input. We are currently developing and
testing mobility gamification concepts in focus
groups.

The interdisciplinary approach incorporates mobile
traffic research, behavioural research and mobile
gaming.

2. PRIOR STUDY – THE COFFEE GAMES
In 2012 we developed and successfully tested an
indoor mobility game, which showed that local
mobility behaviours could be altered using
gamification. Gamification is often described as the
use of game mechanics and other game elements
in non-gaming situations.

3. CURRENT WORK – THE DRIVER DIARIES:
METHODOLOGY AND DATA COLLECTION
We designed and developed a mobility behaviour
study that consists of three elements:
a) an online questionnaire recording planned and
reoccurring behaviours;
b) the Driver Diaries mobile application
(http://tinyurl.com/kx6p6kj) recording spontaneous
behaviour and GPS data and
c) a series of focus group interviews in which we
validate the recorded data and develop and test
game concepts.

These three data sets enrich each other thus
allowing us triangulation and verification.

The application was tested in our usability
laboratory where the users had to perform
predefined tasks which cover the main interfaces /
screens.

4. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The main research question for this project are:
How can we change the mobility behaviour of
commuters in Luxembourg in order to reduce road
congestion?

The research questions that are addressed in the
current phase of the project are:
What are the existing mobility behaviours / patterns of commuters in Luxembourg and why do they exist as such?

How can we use the extracted mobility patterns
and activity hotspots in the design of the game?
Which game design/gamification elements are the
most prominent for a mobility game application
situated in Luxembourg?

5. OUTLOOK
An in-car observation study will follow in order to
get a better understanding of the decision making
processes for individual commutes and at the same
time to test the possibilities and limitations for
gaming on the road.

The first game prototype will be ready for testing in June/July 2014. During this part of the work we will examine the effectiveness of various game
concepts on commuter behaviour.

Finally, we will contribute to existing mobility
behavioural research, gamification research and incar/car-use studies.

Publisher

Association for European Transport