The diversification of mobility solutions.
Autonomous driving is changing mobility and it's design process. "Mobility as a service" describes solutions where the user is accessing the product value through a digital service rather just about owning the product itself. Despite that, it will be expanding the landscape of mobility solutions and diversify the opportunities for users through services that address specific user needs and scenarios. Being focused and having a clear, specific and distinctive value-proposition for the targeted use-case(s) will become increasingly important. Furthermore, the passive experience (where the user doesn't have to drive) will become more important which opens up a room for new innovations.
A new space of opportunity.
With autonomous-driving, the vehicle interior becomes a platform for experiences. This will enable users to choose the right setup for the specific use cases: like a workspace-interior to be productive on the way to work or a sports room to participate in a yoga class on the way home.
Human-centered design in mobility.
People already experience autonomous transportation today. To learn about behaviour patterns and needs we can research on how people interact in these spaces that are already present today: buses, trains, plains, ships, etc. Services that are built based on these products are for example city tours like the London Bus Tours. An experience that is based on peoples curiosity to explore and discover the context they are moving trough. BMW Xplore aims to take these insights and explore how autonomous "mobility as a service" can advance the experience of learning about the context in the future.
Focus: Long-distance traveling and multiple people.
Very early on research and user interviews showed that people face many pain points when it comes long distance travelling. Therefore the project sets to define the most cruical touchpoints of this experience and explores how to improve the user experience. The project process was intentionally open and the outcome not defined in the beginning. The goal was to be user-driven and the solution could range from digital to physical or service solution - depending which framework would be necessary to elevate the user experience.
What if mobility would adapt to the user needs on long distance traveling?
Strategizing, Immersing, Prototyping, Co-creating, Brainstorming, Evaluating, Revisiting, Conceptualising, Designing, Building, Breaking.
Design thinking and doing in the context, vehicle and during the journey.
The conclusion of the research identified 8 touchpoint that integrate the biggest pinpoints for people and opportunities to elevate the mobility experience. Using the vehicle and journey itself as a room and situation to design and think design solutions helped to boost the user empathy and understand insights I got from the user interviews. It furthermore boost the creativity by evaluating solutions and prototyping directly and understand the situations the user is going through.
Watch the movie.
The base of the project were user insights and problems which later got catalyze towards a brand-specific solution. This system concentrates on empowering people in having new mobility experiences that are curated and prepared in advance. Furthermore, BMW Xplore focuses on new seamless ways in personalizing the vehicle set-up as well as how this could support people in daily scenarios. In order to remember or even contextually create experiences, the mobility service connects users to new empowering tools that unite both physical and digital design. This enables the user in having curated augmented reality experiences, travelling back in time or bookmarking things that were interesting on the way.
From A to X.
BMW Xplore helps people to have new experiences, make new discoveries and explore their surrounding. It’s a service designed from A to X - meaning it will help the user not just during the journey but also solves problems and pain-points before the journey that reduce stress and time consumption for planning while creating a more democratic experience for the host. It is also designed in a way to create long term value for the users and create memories and intelligent summaries.
Curated Experiences & Artificial Intelligence.
See what journeys and experiences are trending in your area. "Curated Experiences" allow you to book complete mobility package that include everything you need for the journey: the destination activity tickets, equipment, the perfect route, preparing seat infotainment content and more. In a case of Level 4 or 5 autonomous driving, the vehicle could pick up all passengers completely prepared.
Furthermore, Xplore imagines the vehicle as a proactive digital companion that helps with mobility specific intelligence that takes part in the group's conversation. It represents the vehicle and creates a bond between the passengers and the product. Besides remembering users of things to bring, (for example, if the weather is going to be bad) it also can help all trip members to arrange shared items. The digital companion also replies to questions, for example, "what is the trunk size and does my items actually fit in"?
Personalised trip and interior experience through on-demand delivery.
Users can add "Upgrades" to your vehicle seat before the journey starts. These upgrades, which can be anything from renting a GoPro or mountain bike to a curated sports package, will be delivered to the selected vehicle for the journey by on-demand delivery and the network of BMW dealers. At the day of the journey, the deliveries are placed on the seat. This empowers all passengers to be responsible and reduces pick-up stops at the beginning of a journey to pick things up. Furthermore, it democratizes the experience by giving everyone, not just the host and driver, access to the vehicle intelligence. If certain things cant be delivered they will be automatically added as a stop at the beginning of the journey and the rental shop will be notified about arrival and requested items.
Curated content that connects you to the destination and efforts entertainment that makes most out of your time in the vehicle. Even when losing time in the traffic jam the system will make sure you gain time at the destination through preparation or learning content in the vehicle that helps you to plan your time. Furthermore, the system shows highlights that will appear (wave line on the top) that doesn’t reveal what highlights to the create excitement. Ultimately the system is designed to trigger more social interaction and collaboration.
The BMW Window of the Future: Traveling in Time.
One of the biggest insights of the user research was that users wish they had more time to experience interesting views. Due to the speed of the vehicle people often just have seconds to see something or if another passenger discovers something outside people don’t have time to react to see it as well. Therefore the “Window of the Future” enables people to go back in time and see things they discovered again.
This works by using the cameras outside that enable autonomous driving and saving the outside view for a view minutes. By having the TOLED (Transparent-OLED) supported side window and using the autonomous driving camera content the user can go back in time. As soon as the user is interacting with the “TimeDrive” Controller the window turns from transparent to virtual (via the TOLED). The virtual content is connected to as far as the user rotates the controller and goes back in time to see things again they just discovered. The user has also the chance to see how the future looks like by using content from cars in front of them.
From digital design requirements to physical design requirements.
To make the interaction with the context quick, response and easy accessible it consist of a tactile user interface that is intuitively to use. Enabling people to go back in time or into the future without having to look at the interaction itself - the user can focus on the outside during the interaction. The TUI (tactile user interface) also enables the user to take photos, videos without pulling out their smartphone. Another feature is “Slowmotion” which enables the user to experience a view in slow-motion. This takes again advantage of TOLED (Transparent-OLED) and the cameras on the outside that enable autonomous driving.
Another user insights during the research was that people often forget what they discover. This can happen on long-distance traveling but also on short distances. Therefore the window’s main button (X) is the bookmark functionality. It enables people to bookmark whatever they find interesting. When using the bookmark button the GPS location and a snapshot of the outside will be placed on the BMW Xplore map on the mobile app.
Touch + Gesture
To make people experience this in a static environment the prototype contained a 4K screen that is showing a video of the side-window view and an interactive armrest that recognised gesture motion through a 3D magnetic room and working dials and buttons that let you interact with your travel context. Prototyped with the combination of Unity, Arduino and a 3D gesture pad.
See the video of the prototypes and see the interactions, experiences, and applications.
An Augmented Reality platform.
The BMW Window of the Future is also acting as a AR (Augmented Reality) platform. Depending the environment and context it enables third-party providers to enables contextual storytelling.
The research showed the interest of users in the context but the lack of information. The Window concept helps to reveal the richness of our environment and ultimately connects people closer to their surrounding the environment.
Another insights of the user testing was how little contextual information turn a normal view into an exciting story. Just by revealing slight information the user can identify and is excited about the context.
An enabler to new virtual worlds.
Not aiming to replace to reality but to make it more meaningful to you: for example learning destination languages by image recognition or learn about the dinosaurs that use to live in the area.
Bridging physical and digital.
A central role of the Window is to document the journey and make people to focus more the context and less about digital documentation or creation. At the same time enabling people to do exactly that if they want without loosing focus while pulling out the phone. These memories that are achieved with the window are synchronised with the mobile companion and automatically create a storybook that exchanges the created content between all group members.
World Design Event (WDE) Conference keynote.
The project was presented at the kick-off event "World Design Event" of the Dutch Design Week where I presented along with other conference speakers in the Day program "Antenna - The worlds best design graduates".