Urban Air Mobility
01/2020 - 06/2020
Urban Air Mobility developed the concept of utilizing short distant air travel in-between heavily developed urban areas
In the near future, we predicted that Urban Air Mobility (UAM) will become a common solution for your daily commute. With a sharply rising work population in urban spaces, people will continue to be pushed further outside of the cities. Using virtual reality, we provide a simulated experience of what the UAM journey will be like. We have crafted the type of interactive experience that can help anyone wrap their head around this soon to be a reality.
The initiation of UAM development from major rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft in collaboration with automakers, we wanted to design an experience that imagines how that reality might look like in our daily lives. We have aimed to explore discussions around safety, comfort, trust, and ease of use that come with new services and the complexity that is required more than ever before. Our integrated web experience with VR takes users through each step of the process from booking your ride to traveling to the new transit stations, and finally riding the new Electrical Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) vehicles.
Large corporations who are working towards Urban Air Mobility (UAM) have trouble gaining user trust and managing negative perceptions of service providers.
"How might we imagine the future of transportation of Urban Air Mobility with trust and a sense of security?"
In order to inform our experience and design, we aimed to explore and understand a range of flight-related travel experiences that specifically look at individual travel stressors, and how those can be facilitated through both internal and external factors.
Internal facilitation refers to the traveler’s own ability to manage and mitigate their experience and external facilitation refers to ways in which the airlines and airports establish a positive rapport and travel experience within their service environment.
Providing transparency about eVTOL pilots and craft to gain user’s trust and security
Offering customized flying experience according to what types of flyer users are
Creating a exciting experience to fly with eVTOL services in virtual reality
Urban Air Mobility, like many new services, will have a premium price tag designed towards high-end users. In our approach, we wanted our design to include the users on edge, including users with special needs or typically not in the core demographics of the services. It is important to think about users who are a part of the population in the first or second mass-adoption to depict a future of transportation for not just a select group of users.
Alexa Needs Access
Alexa is a retiree healthcare administrator who lives in a rural community. Two years ago, she was diagnosed with type II diabetes, and as of recently, she has been having trouble with her vision and getting around
User Journey Map (Web)
Using a user-centered approach, our team developed a future-state journey map that explores how an individual could include Urban Air Mobility into their travel plans or their daily commute.
Alexa is scheduled for cataract surgery and is apprehensive about traveling long distances before and after her procedure. She needs to find a safe, and reliable way to travel to and from her surgery, on her terms
Alexa expects the pilot and the eVTOL craft to be safe and reliable, and that her specific travel needs are met and accommodated.
After researching UAM services, I envisioned that the process of requesting a VTOL service through an application would be identical to existing ridesharing services. Thus, I decided to add ridesharing integration within UAM service to provide a well-rounded journey for long-distance commutes.
Our designers used Uber’s design system to achieve this modern and minimal design look: colors, illustrations, and iconography, but we were still able to differentiate SWRVO brand from Uber.
To build the simulation, our developers used virtual reality SDK (software developer kit) within Unity’s asset store to enable us to quickly have access to the proper functionalities in connecting a VR headset and hand controllers for user testing. Within the editor, we created objects that would display our 360 videos and then imported a 3D model of our aircraft into our scene. We uploaded our 360 drone footage to our project for viewers to watch during the simulation. Finally, we created a scene manager that controlled the transitions to viewing different videos.
Initially, we wanted to create a physical installation that allowed users to experience our VR simulation by wearing an HTC Vive headset. However, due to the cancellation of the physical capstone event, we opted to build a WebGL version of the project. The WebGL allows people to interact with our simulation remotely within a web browser. This was a shift in our development process because we needed to convert all of our VR interactions and modify them to be experienced in front of a computer screen. To do so, we programmed C# scripts that allowed people to look around the scene by using their mouse and pressing keyboard keys that substitute the hand controllers.