In partnership with:
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. Though the service is designed and divided in short, mid and long term perspective depending on the implementation time of its phases, the initial phase of the service is delivered through this mobile application. 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
Brainstorming: Area of opportunities
As soon as we got the brief from Valeo, 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 categories our words to help us choose particular directions to work on.
Chosen sector to work with
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.
Valeo Powertrain system
After a brief discussion with Valeo's team we understood that our project needs to have the end user/customer or 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.
Predicting Future Trends
Next we decided to align our project with Valeo's vision and the future trends, hence we studied and predicted our version of future humans and cities. These trends served as the guidelines to construct our solution which would match the demands of the context set for the project.
Insights from the Trends
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.
“ To use Valeo’s powertrain system as a medium to provide operational efficiency and flexibility to the cities through mobility services "
Now that our theme for the project was 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.
Environment preservation & protection
Interactive seamless connectivity
We dedicated special attention to one of our key essential stakeholer- the end customer/user. Our user was any and 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 delivered through the powertrain system in form of a mobile application.
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.
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 user and provide possible incentives for positive behaviours. We felt it was necessary to pull the user in government initiatives in preserving and protecting the environment and to keep him invested through monetary schemes in form of insurances that would not only ensure funding for the government towards the initiative, but would also involve behaviour linked returns in the investment. The concept makes it mandatory for every user to buy an insurance policy for the environment through a lumpsum amount paid while buying a vehicle. 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 considering his green behaviour score.
Concept 2: Smart Grid
Smart Grid concept is designed for energy sector which specifically focuses on energy management in urban areas. This concept does not really include 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 at various times, which could help government distribute energy accordingly to save and reduce load on energy producers. So for example if the certain parts 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 having no demands. Hence, this flux of energy can be data driven provided by Valeo's powertrain system.
Concept 3: Nearby Connectivity
Nearby Connectivity is completely user centric concept that directly deal with user issues that can be resolved by powertrain system through data. This concepts 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, which will help the fuel station prepares 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 which is ready to serve. Simultaneously, the user can get connected to the nearby fuel station which is ideal and the way to the same can be automatically displayed to user's screen to ease the navigation. Second example is when the car breaks down the user vehicle's powertrain system will send data to nearby garages and request for help so that garage can prepare and source the required parts for the vehicle and save lot of time in the process.
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 2 end users, our idea was that the data generated by the powertrain system can be used to reflect car's health, maintenance, driving pattern of the previous driver, etc. and other crucial details which 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 2 parties wherein both would have a relationship of trust and which would add them to each other's social network.
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.
Vehicle Energy Data
Need enough energy for the vehicle at required energy
Growth & integration
Not actively participating in environment protection
Vehicle Emission Data
Difficult to get services or help in emergency
Vehicle Mechanical and performance Data
Privacy & Security
Trust issues while buying
second hand car
Vehicle condition Data
The Final Concept
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.
Long term 10-15 yrs
Mid term 5-10 yrs
Short term 0-5 yrs
Nearby Service Ecosystem
Near-by is a mobility service, which is created with a user centric approach with a goal to bring a stability in the mobility service resource chain right from the driver to central government involving local garages, distributers, manufacturers and OEMs. In the service Valeo’s powertrain system collects the essential data from the car and sends it in a simplified and visually understandable form to the user in an mobile application, 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.
1. The user is driving his car on the highway
2. The car breaks down due to some mechanical issue
3. The user opens Valeo Nearby application and clicks on car health feature
4. The user calls a mechanic to fix the issue and shares the data with him.
5. The mechanic resolves the issues and explains the costings to the user
6. The user checks Valeo Nearby application again if the issue has been resolved or not before paying the mechanic
This feature of the application is called Car health, it 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. The feature simultaneously helps the garages to prepare tools and operations accordingly for the repairs. 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.
1. The user is driving to his destination and following directions on the map
2. The user is on his way to his destination
3. The user is checking directions to confirm the destination and meanwhile using other applications as well
4. The car fuel goes low and the user is immediately prompted about the same
5. The Valeo Nearby app opens the map and finds the directions to nearby petrol pump
6. The petrol pump is simultaneously notified about user's car fuel status and prepares for the car accordingly
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.
1. The user car tire punctures while on the way.
2. The user opens the Valeo Nearby application and request for help from nearby drivers
3. The user needs help to change the tire, one of the nearby driver accepts the request
4. The user contacts the driver from the details provided
5. The nearby driver arrives to user's location to help
6. The user is really happy about the help and introduces himself and becomes friends with the driver.
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.