Eileen Mandir

moovel in a box — Thoughts on creating a new mobility service from scratch

Fictional mobility box
moovel in a box - you could literally ship yourself

Which kind of new mobility services could become thinkable with emerging technologies such as the Hyperloop? What would a radically simple form of a new mobility service look like? Could personal mobility be as simple as sending a package from A to B?

After our speculative design video: The Autonomous Human Drone Taxi, we were keen to once more radically simplify mobility. “What’s easier than sending a package from A to B?”, we thought, “and what if this service would be available for us, now?” This is when we started the process of inventing a speculative mobility service: moovel box.

You Will Literally Ship Yourself

Although the idea might seem ridiculous at first, the more you think about it, the more interesting it becomes. As the logistics around our parcel services grow to become more and more time and cost-efficient, we have had a closer look at what aspects could be transferable into mobility.

We quickly found that decent scalability could only happen with standardization. In logistics, it’s a square box (ranging from a small amazon size to 40 ft shipping units). Applying this service to (almost) all transportation modes, the moovel box modules could be backpacked by various private and public infrastructures.

As cities and populations grow, public transportation systems become extremely busy. Finding a way to bypass the downsides of public transportation while utilizing the upsides of logistics means a box might in the end be a nice form of transport. Think of what you could get:

  • Cheaper Access to individual transport
  • No Distraction & Even more time for work
  • More comfort in a busy environment
  • Just in time arrival by using precise logistical systems

Creating a Mobility Service

For our transit box, we tried to apply the scale of well-known parcel services to an individual transportation system. This new mobility service was supposed to be an on-demand pick-up and drop-off service.

It was important for us to integrate the moovel box into existing infrastructures. Therefore, we tried to keep the system as simple and accessible as possible, using affordable solutions.

We challenged ourselves to investigate the credibility and possibility of traveling in a closed environment. We were eager to design a ‘human travel pod’ that would be as comfortable as possible and where passengers wish to work, eat and relax.

moovel in a box 1 to 1 prototype

Prototyping 1 to 1

moovel in a box film props

Production of the film prop

moovel in a box product family

Product family

moovel in a box product design

Product design

Service Design out of a User’s Perspective

Service Design has been an emerging topic in times of digitalization. Having a variety of products to choose from for a particular need, the service associated with a product is frequently what makes us choose product X over the others.

Creating a mobility service from scratch allowed us to practice different methods of service design ranging from creating personas to user journeys, interface mock-ups, etc., while always thinking in steps of what happens before, during and after using a mobility box.

moovel in a box service design

Thoughts on speculative design

How mobility services, on-demand behaviour and emerging technologies can come together to simplify our daily lives is still an open question. To create the future of transportation, you have to think outside the box. Transportation in a box might sound crazy, but so the Hyperloop - when you think of it. Speculative scenario videos can help to communicate fictional designs and ideas to a wide audience by making futures tangible. This open up new ways of thinking about today’s mobility patterns and future possibilities. Speculative artifacts are a great tool for user research of the problem space is not accessible, because this future does not exist yet.

Project host:
moovel lab
People envolved @ moovel lab:
Beneditk Groß, Flore de Crombrugghe, Tilman Häuser, Raphael Reimann, Eileen Mandir
STUDIO MAKECREATE, takram, David Leonard