Following up on a Facebook inquiry that a UW Hyperloop Team Lead posted I had the opportunity to lead a team of my peers in designing the conceptual experience for hyperloop. Over the span of 10 weeks we collaborated on everything from seating arrangement, seating, interfaces, etc, based on what kind of passenger would be commuting and what potential technologies would exist.
While the technology for this method of transportation is still in the developmental phases we were asked to design the passenger experience. We talked with one of the directors of the team, David Coven, about what parameters we might be constrained to as well as the impression the pod should evoke. These insights as well as our own brainstorming sessions lead us to some parameters to begin designing for.
What is Hyperloop?
Hyperloop is a concept vehicle that operates much like a train but boasts top speeds of over 700mph achieved by magnetic propulsion and traveling in a near vacuum tube. Imagine going to San Francisco to Los Angeles in 30 minutes without the hassle of flying.
The Future of Connection
Skip the TSA lines
The proposed hyperloop system would consist of a series of autonomous pods each capable of holding anywhere from 10-20 passengers at a time. Passengers would simply step on, take a seat, and continue to their destination.
Public transportation is a place where people from various backgrounds are gathered with a common destination. One of the key objectives in our design was to create an environment that encouraged engagement with one another. The recessed seating area places the passenger slightly lower than the isle, creating a sense of openness but also intimacy much like sunken livingrooms.
Space to Breathe
Each pod is traveling in a steel vacuum tube so there aren't any glamorous view to see outside which poses to few problems.
Claustrophobia | Lighting | Disorientation
To combat this we implemented virtual windows that function to provide a sense of movement, spaciousness, as well as natural light. Nature scenes rather than space renderings or graphics were chosen to base passengers in reality rather than elude to being on a Disneyland ride.
The virtual window has a secondary function of displaying information related to your destination such as trip duration, weather, and other logistics for piece of mind.
Augmented Work Space
For the commuter the ride can often be a place to get work done. With this in mind we imagined that not only would there be mature augmented displays, but also that we may would no longer rely on laptops or phones and that whatever devices we had would serve as a storage space for our information.
Although most travel would be for commutes, we offered an extra area for larger items such as strollers and suitcases to accommodate for various passenger needs.
Although a concept like this will likely take decades to come to fruition if it does at all, this project granted us the opportunity to touch on important experiences that are based in developing technologies in the context of travel. Good luck to the UW Hyperloop team!