Mr. Kostiainen has a background in communications engineering and signal processing in which he got his Master’s degree in 2011. In his thesis, he applied sonic interaction design to develop a mobile journey planner application utilizing non-speech auditory cues for guidance. The related open development tools and a development competition by the Helsinki Region Transport authority at the time further motivated pursuing the research and development of mobility services. Partially due to that, Kostiainen was then lured into the field of transportation and has been working at VTT as a researcher of mobility services since 2012.
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Living Lab Bus – tapping into talent pools with an innovation platformAccess to novel data and a chance to test solutions in practice can help motivate people with various backgrounds and expertise to a field. It can help lure in new talent and fresh ideas to public transportation – whether through data analytics, service design or user engagement.
Over the past couple of years, a fleet of Helsinki buses has served as an open innovation platform. In addition to serving as a test environment for companies, it has enabled universities to use it as a context and subject for course work as well as hackathons, introducing diverse people to tackle public transport challenges.
The familiarity of the mundane public transport context helps fresh minds use personal experience to come up with new solutions. While bringing people with different skills and backgrounds together brings new ideas, clear challenges and support are needed to avoid the obvious and impractical.