Ordinary drives in extraordinary ways

Ordinary drives in extraordinary ways

Enhancing the experience of a daily commute drive with a smart scenario for a Volvo car


Jakob Päll
Jakob Päll


Degree Project


Tanel Kärp


Volvo Cars


Rebecka Kennerland


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The automotive industry has entered a new stage of developing smarter vehicles. In some sense, it has been there for around ten years (for example, by the launch of the Tesla Model S car). Personal cars have more digital screens, often fewer physical buttons, increased (assistive) technology, and novel capabilities like voice and gesture interaction models. It can seamlessly connect to the most used device, a smartphone. Although the primary use case of a car is – still – to help you drive to the destination, it can offer much more comfort and entertainment. This raises a question about what type of value a car can provide in certain scenarios.

The degree project was done together with Volvo Cars. This gave me a chance to understand the automotive industry and Volvo Cars through our collaboration. I learned from the internal knowledge by reading materials and speaking to the employees. At the same time, I considered their perspective of the brand and product.

How to make the best use of the car’s potential by providing a personal car usage experience?

The degree project highlights the daily driving experience, focusing on arguably the most common type of driving: a daily commute. Even though there are many options available for commuting, driving a car is clearly dominating in this space. For example, Statista reports that in Germany, 65% of people use a personal vehicle and even more so (75%) in the United States. With this in mind, there is an opportunity to make a potentially significant impact as the design concept would target car commuters.

To have increased sympathy towards car commuters, I chose to focus on the European market (since I am living in Europe myself). Noting that the proposed concept might not work as well, for example, in the China or US market with a potentially different set of consumer expectations.

The timeframe for the proposed design concept is of medium length: the next 7 years up until 2030. This excludes the possibility of getting lost in (gimmicky) futuristic concepts while still being forward-looking and valuable. The design concept is useful even today with further developments that could be done in the future to improve its quality or feature set.

The name of the design concept is “Ordinary drives in extraordinary ways”

The design concept gives daily car commuters a more personalised experience. In turn, improving the ease of use and satisfaction of using the car during daily routine driving. It also proposes the idea of having a closer connection with your car. An approach that would transform the perspective of your car being an object to a more humane one, where it could feel like having a personal (driving) assistant. As if your car is a
colleague on his/her own that you meet on your commute drives to work and home. Such a direction could inspire users to take better care of their cars, resulting in longer-lasting vehicles.

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