Over the Summer of 2023, the Aubin Team conducted a live trial of Aubin app at Bristol Temple Meads (BTM) station. The aim of the Station Innovation Zone challenge was to test new technologies designed to improve the passenger experience. Aubin was one of three organisations selected by Connected Places Catapult and Network Rail to trial their innovation.
Our aim was to recruit three groups of autistic passengers and give them access to Aubin, using the feedback to further develop the app.
Group 1 were regular users of BTM who were asked to use the app whilst making journeys via the station.
Group 2 were asked to carry out station navigation challenges using the app, on a designated Station Day alongside Jnction staff.
Group 3 were recruited nationally and required to use the app during their regular journeys.
The feedback from participants after the trial ended was overwhelmingly positive. The following are just a few of the comments we received from our trialists:
“It’s a brilliant idea and I will look forward to seeing it in use in the future”
“Absolutely love Aubin I really hope it’s released properly it’s easy to follow and I like how it tells you how stressful the journey is likely to be”
“So nice to have an app that’s actually been designed for autistic people!”
The additional funding in the app meant the team were able to reinvest it into the app’s development.
Using trial feedback, we were able to implement some of the changes to the app. For example, one trialist suggested the ‘Around You’ function is moved to a separate tab, so the home screen was less crowded.
One of the key challenges the team faced during the trial was recruiting participants. By spreading awareness of the trial on social media, we were able to reach out to trialists individually. This, however, proved inefficient, as we needed to reach a larger number of autistic people.
The Aubin team invested more time into developing relationships with charity groups and organisations by attending events and setting up meetings. The team are looking forward to continuing this practice into 2024.