365 Response has secured funding from the Economic and Social Research Council as part of the prestigious North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership. The news was recently announced of a successful proposal to fund the research of the challenges faced in Home to School Transport.
The award will provide funding for a 3-year CASE AI PhD Studentship to be jointly managed between the University of Manchester and 365 Response. The project will aim to shine a light on the current scenario in the complex world of transporting children (including vulnerable special needs children) to and from school, safely. Using AI technology – a big part of the 365 Response Research and Development process – the PhD student will work to identify challenges and present innovative technological solutions to aid decision-makers in producing better plans for school transport.
The application process involved an in-depth application and was highly competitive. Dr Chris Jones, 365 Response Chief Technology Officer commented on the process “We are very pleased that the assessment panel recognised the importance of this work. We hear of so much investment going into big-name general purpose transport apps, but none of this benefits our users in the public sector. Our end-users are school children and some of the most vulnerable in society, many with complex needs.”
There is huge untapped potential for machine learning and AI techniques to optimise the travel experience of service users with requirements and limitations that are not well-served in conventional public transport. We are very much looking forward to finding the right candidate and working with our customers to make some real advances in this field.
Next Steps for the CASE Studentship
Following the wonderful news that 365 Response has been successful in securing the CASE Studentship funding, the process of identifying the ideal full-time PhD Research Student has begun. The chosen candidate will have the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of work outside an academic environment, working on a doctoral project supported by both expert and academic supervisors. In addition, the candidate will play a huge role in the changing landscape of school transport – an area that is currently lacking in artificial intelligence and in need of serious attention.
The application deadline for the ESRC CASE PhD Studentship: “Challenges in Home to School Transport: Large-Scale School Bus Routing inclusive of Special Needs Students and Heterogeneous Fleets in the North West” is Friday 26 March and further application details can be found here: ESRC CASE PhD Studentship: “Challenges in Home to School Transport: Large-Scale School Bus Routing inclusive of Special Needs Students and Heterogeneous Fleets in the North West” at The University of Manchester (jobs.ac.uk)