The Norwegian Public Roads Administration was planning a new road traffic centre (Veitrafikksentralen) for Western Norway in 2015. To make it great, they hired an experienced safety engineer with expertise on ISO standards (Magnus Bjelkerud). But, they also engaged EGGS to empower the team with user-centric design processes and holistic problem-solving skills.
The world’s most challenging infrastructure?
West Norway is packed with curvy and slippery roads, including 215 tunnels, 37 ferry connections and 7 mountain-passes. Every year, the centre receives approximately 200.000 alarms and 3.500 emergency calls. Working with this is both demanding and stressful, where the operators have to handle incidents while simultaneously communicating with a complex bundle of stakeholders, such as the general public, emergency personnel, landlords, media and more. Human error in the road traffic centre can be critical. Hence, we spent much time to gain deep insight and thorough understanding of both the work tasks and the other needs of the key stakeholders.
A new working environment
Propelled by the ISO 11064 standards, we carefully defined the requirements for the new road traffic centre. However, by applying design methods we were also able to accommodate for the users’ needs in a more meaningful way. We worked creatively and visually to specify a holistic plan for the new centre. The findings and ideas were along three dimensions:
A well-planned centre
The results of the process is a well-planned centre, where we have accommodated:
A working environment that allows good situation awareness, ease of communication between personnel and good ergonomic access to necessary equipment.
A layout that optimizes the main functions of the control centre, but also accommodates for secondary stakeholders such as emergency personnel, landlords and visitors.
A staffing strategy that allows for efficient and dynamic workloads, while also being clear about roles and responsibilities.
A bundle of ideas that may be valuable future extensions to the centre.
The new centre was finalized in 2015. The users are generally thrilled by the improvements. Safety engineering combined with the strong user focus in design proved to be a powerful and successful mix of competencies for creating the new road traffic centre.
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