A lot of the most annoying things about city life seem unavoidable:
The outbound congestion that appears like clockwork every day at 5 PM; the fact that you can’t get a taxi after midnight; or the filth in the only existing subway line. It feels like there’s nothing you can do about these problems and inconveniences. As if they were simply a fact of life. But what if you could help design a means of transportation from the ground up yourself? What would your solution look like?
The first Co-Creation Workshop took place in Berlin just a few weeks after MOIA was founded. “We feel it’s very important to include the ideas of potential users and residents as early in the process as possible,” says MOIA CEO Ole Harms. “What bugs you? What do you expect from this type of service? What would be a dream come true for you?” MOIA is not going to come into cities with a top-secret product developed in a laboratory and try to disrupt an established system. Instead, we seek to collaborate with transportation partners, local government, and citizens.
Interested individuals had the opportunity to co-create by testing prototypes of our vehicle and the app during the summer of 2017. But this is just the first step towards achieving the goals of our collaborative development process. “Cities are going to be transformed over the coming years as smart city apps and autonomous driving become ubiquitous,” says Ole Harms. “It’s absolutely essential to give residents an opportunity to have a say in this redesign of their urban spaces.”
Another reason for co-creation is that it makes our work easier. “Honestly,” Ole Harms adds. “It truly is a win-win situation.”
Co-Creation Day participants use a map of Berlin to show where they spend most of their time.
You don't need fancy algorithms or a degree in city planning to participate in Co-Creation Day. Quite the opposite.
We’re interested less in specialized knowledge and more in everyday experiences in a specific city. Berlin has 3.5 million inhabitants, and each one of them has their own shortcuts, routines, and favorite routes. Everyone experiences the city in their own way.
Students, businesspeople, employees from startups, retired residents, and young families all participated in the co-creation events in Berlin.
We’re looking for people who …
- are brutally honest
- have an interest in 21st-century design and architecture
- feel like getting together to goof off a little
The people who work at MOIA see the city from the perspective of a resident — and that all flows into the products. This is very important to us. But not all of our team members … have kids, play an upright bass, or are exactly 60 years old. No one can see an issue from every angle.
“To be honest, we live in a bit of a bubble,” says Ebru Goemek, Lead Autonomous Driving at MOIA, and a constant presence at the co-creation events. “This is how we get authentic feedback from our users — it’s very exciting.”
Here’s what we’ve learned from our co-creators so far:
- Accessibility: The entry height of the shuttle was changed, and boarding aids were added.
- Visibility: The sign with the shuttle number on it is not sufficiently visible from the street. We’re going to find a good solution.
- Service: Additional features such as charging stations for smartphones are wanted.
“It’s fascinating to see the amount of detail people go into,” says Christian Rosen, Head of Vehicle Management & Concepts. “'Where can you hang clothes from the dry cleaner? Does it need arm rests? What texture will the seats have?' This is a big help to us.”
If you think about it, it’s not that surprising. The only people our product is more important to, other than us, are the ones who’ll be using it every day.
We’d like to thank you for your ideas.