Valeo 
Nearby

Valeo Nearby is an application which is designed for Valeo's Powertrain System. The application is integrated in a mobility service which aims to provide operational flexibility as well as efficiency to the involved stakeholders.The application focuses on creating seamless network of interaction between the user's vehicle and nearby essential services through the data generated by Valeo's powertrain system. These interactions are delivered and notified to the user through Valeo nearby application, and simultaneously the application allows the user to stay connected with his vehicle to have a pleasant worry-free driving experience.

In partnership with:

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Year

2018

Time

6 Week (Intensive) 

Category

UX/UI Design & Service Design

Type

Team Project

Industry

Automotive

Project Challenge

To propose new experiences or services from the data generated by Valeo's powertrain system for the future (next 5-15 years)

As a design team the most challenging part of the project was to understand powertrain system and to predict the data that can be  generated and used for designing experiences. Technical nature of the topic made it complex for us to start the project.

Design Process

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Phase 1 - Research

Brainstorming: Area of opportunities

We had a very open topic to work on and it was difficult to find a starting point for the project. Hence, we started by a fun brainstorming session to discover different areas where the Valeo's powertrain system could be used. Furthermore, we categorised our words to help us choose particular directions to work on.

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Chosen sectors for the project

From the categories made in brainstorming session we selected these 4 categories as our focus areas which was also chosen by in consideration with Valeo's future vision. These 4 categories helped us define and set the boundaries for the project.

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Defining the stakeholders

After a brief discussion with Valeo's team we understood that our project needs to have the end user/customer (the citizens) as stated and Valeo's powertrain system as 2 key essential stakeholders. As we were planning this project on a city scale we felt that the project need a 3rd crucial stakeholder who could not be ignored, and that stakeholder was the city administration or in more global terms the government. 

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Predicting Future Trends

We decided to study and predict future trends related to citizens and  cities. This step helped us align our project with Valeo's vision.

Our insights from this research:

Cities will function as an ecosystem

Cities will create web of connections for the world

Commodities will become services

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Commodities will become services

Saving energy will be crucial for country's development

Technology will become more humane

Cities will become human centric

Citizens will proactively participate in urban development

User Driving Scenario

Our user was every person who drives a car. We had to imagine a pessimistic scenario for our user to understand possible problems the user faces which could be solved or looked after by the powertrain system. These problems would be our pivots to design concepts that would be assisted with powertrain system data.

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Positive Feelings

Negative Feelings

Emotion mapping

We created an experience map to track the mood and the fluctuations as per the moments and we selected most important and relevant problem which can be possibly resolved through powertrain system. One major drawback of this step was that we couldnt confirm our possibilities with real users other than us as we had a time constraint for the project. Therefore, we imagined ourselves as the users and had some casual conversations with similar users around us and mapped our thoughts in the best way possible for us.

Phase 2 - Synthesizing Research

Creating Conclusion grid

After our extensive research we had to move on and define our creativity axis which would help us define are design concepts. We decided to take an overview and map them on a conclusion grid to have a complete picture of our research and insights. The grid helped us choose the 4 key words which helped decide our theme for the project that became our creativity axis.

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The key question

“ To create mobility services that encourage user participation, provide operational flexibility to cities and help create a sustainable urban ecosystem"

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As our theme for the project got very clear, we decided to work in the 4 chosen sectors. Our aim was to design concepts which would help cities achieve operational efficiency and flexibility in energy management, preservation & protection of environment, moral consumer networking and creating interactive seamless connectivity.

Phase 3 - Ideation

The Service Design Concepts

Valeo's team had asked us for multiple possible concepts, so they could choose the one they want us to develop. Hence we decided to make 4 concepts with 1 concept for every 1 sector that would each solve any one possible problem faced by the end user.

Concept generation mathematics:

1 chosen Sector + 1 user issue + Valeo powertrain system = 1 Concept

Concept 1: Green Economy

Green economy concept considered environment as the key sector along with vehicle pollution that was caused due to bad maintenance of the vehicle. The idea was to induce environment responsible behaviour in the users, help government in green initiatives, and provide possible incentives for positive behaviours. The concept makes it mandatory for every user with a car to buy an insurance policy for the environment while buying a vehicle as a lumpsum investment. The insurance will have a provision, wherein the funds stay locked in for a period of 6-8 yrs and the interest earned by the government would be invested in green projects. If the user plans to sell the vehicle after 6 yrs, the vehicle will be inspected by the government and accordingly the invested amount of the policy will be refunded back to the user as per the green credit rating. Green credit rating will determine how responsible the user was in maintaining vehicle for reducing emissions and keep environment healthy.

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Concept 2: Smart Energy Grid

Smart Grid concept is designed for energy sector which specifically focuses on energy management in urban areas. This concept does not directly include the end user as an influential factor, but the data generated by powertrain system of vehicle driven by the user plays a key role in the complete functioning of the concept. The idea behind this concept was to study the mobility pattern in the city and analyse the energy demands in the various parts of the city through out the day, this can help government distribute energy accordingly to save and reduce load on energy producers. For example, if the certain part of the city are observed to have peak congestion, the electric charging stations for electric cars can given more energy compared to the stations which are in the parts with low or no demands. This flux of energy can be data driven from the data generated by Valeo's powertrain system.

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Concept 3: Nearby Connectivity

Nearby Connectivity is completely user centric concept that directly addresses user issues that can be resolved by powertrain system data. This concept aims at making a seamless network of interactions between user's vehicle and service providers. For example, as soon as the car fuel gets low the powertrain system will send data about the same to nearby fuel station and help the fuel station prepare in advance for the number of cars, and if the capacity of the fuel station gets full the vehicle can be diverted to any other nearby fuel station that are ready to serve. Simultaneously, the user's vehicle can get connected to the nearby fuel station which is ideal for refueling and display the route on car's digital dashboard screen. Similarly, when the car breaks down the vehicle's powertrain system will send data to nearby garages and request for help so that garage can prepare and keep the required parts ready for repairing the vehicle to save time. 

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Concept 4: Social Network

This concept ensures a transparent and informed shopping experience which enables buyers and sellers to build relation which are guided by ethics and moral values. For this concept we decided to target the second hand vehicle market wherein used cars are sold directly between two end users, our idea to use the data generated by the powertrain system to communicate car's health, maintenance, and driving pattern of the previous driver. This would allow the buyer to make an informed choice and pay the right value for the vehicle. Similarly, with the same data the seller can be rest assured that he is getting the price he deserves according to the efforts he has put in keeping the condition of the vehicle intact. This will allow for a transparent deal between two parties wherein both would have a relationship of trust that will represent a trustful social network.

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Choosing the Concepts

After we presented our 4 service design concepts to Valeo, the concepts were very well received by Valeo's team and they very much appreciated the quality of all our concepts. Hence, considering the possibility and capability of each concept, it was very difficult for the team to choose just one concept out of the 4, and we were requested to weave all the 4 concepts into a single service while keeping every individual concept's idea intact. As we were not really ready for this kind of a request, considering the timeframe. It was really challenging for us to create a single ecosystem for the concepts, so we again decided to map all our progress until now in a flow chart and proceeded to merge and make the final service design concept accordingly.

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Phase 4 - Final Solution: Nearby Service

For the final service design which was an amalgamation of all the 4 concepts, we found that all the concepts had their own time frame of implementation and hence it would be impossible to connect them in the immediate context. Therefore, we prioritised the concepts based on feasibility and time that would be required for their implementation and connected them into a single service that can be applied in short, mid and long term. If you observe the service design skeleton, you would see that the whole service is Valeo centric, wherein the first phase it displays the interaction between the user and Valeo and in the later phase of the service it shows the relationship between the government and Valeo. The Valeo's team was super impressed with the way we accommodated all the concepts and my team was personally greeted by higher management at Valeo for our approach and our concept and to further felicitate us we were offered a small summer internship at Valeo head office in Paris.

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Nearby Service Ecosystem

Near-by is a mobility service, which is created to bring a stability to the mobility service resource chain starting from the driver to central government involving local garages, distributers, manufacturers and OEMs. In this service Valeo’s powertrain system collects the technical data of the vehicle and sends it in a simplified and visually understandable form to the user in an mobile application through the Valeo nearby app. The service connects all the near-by services like fuel station, local garages and fellow drivers to give the user a seamless comfortable experience. In the longer run the data generated also helps the government in energy management and in planning green projects which as a whole works towards overall development of the city.

Phase 5 - UX Design of the app

Function 1: Car Health

This feature is designed to give complete information of the vehicle's well being and functioning status. The scenario above illustrates, that when the user's car breaks down and faces a problem, the user can firstly check the application to understand exactly what is the reason of concern and which part has been specifically damaged. This lets the user connect with a nearby car garage to explain the issue in detail, as well as allows the user to share the data and exact cause of the problem. Furthermore, when the vehicle is successfully repaired the user can verify whether the problem has been solved, and can also ensure if the part that is replaced is original and authentic. Usually, most of the users are not very technically equipped to understand mechanical issues of the vehicle breakdown, which makes it difficult for them to explain the exact cause to the service providers. Lack of knowledge can make the user anxious with doubts regarding the quality of parts and the service, and this feature helps the user resolve those doubts.

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Usage Scenario

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Function 2: Nearby Services

This feature is an automatic feature that turns on in case of emergency and immediately transfers the user on the map and shows the direction to nearby essential service station location.

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Function 3: Car help

This feature of the application is called Car help, this feature allows the user to scan for nearby drivers that have kept themselves as discoverable on the application, and request for help in emergency situations like medical emergency, accidents, mechanical breakdown, etc. As soon as the opposite driver accepts the request from the user for help, the application sends contact details to each other wherein the user can call and explain in detail the issue as well as share his location on the application for driver to drive precisely to the location for help.

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