Isolation due to restricted mobility is one of the biggest negative impacts a disability can have on someone’s life. A great deal of effort is put into adapting vehicles for individual cases.
The brief for the DRM was to build a tool that could quantify the improvements made by the use of different adaptations, as opposed to relying on the empirical knowledge of driving instructors. It was important that measurements could be made in actual vehicles (rather than on a test rig), in order to reduce stress on the clients.
The data could be used to aid governing bodies to generate standards; but also, and perhaps more importantly, the data could be used to convince clients that they were improving.
The challenge for us was to make an instrument that could be easily fitted to any vehicle and produce extremely accurate results.
Our instrument gave 90% of the functionality of its closest competitor (a static rig the size of a van) at 10% of the cost, as well as being infinitely more versatile and portable.
As always, there was a relentless regime of model making, prototyping and testing throughout the design process.