Arman is a Toronto based Industrial Designer with over 10 years of b2b sales and 5 years of design and marketing experience. He holds accreditation from George Brown, Humber and Stanford University. He specializes in UX + UI, Graphic, and Product Design and is based in Toronto and Palo Alto.
Last Mile Vehicles have been considered as a solution to overwhelming traffic congestion found in modern urban areas. While other more contemporary scenarios have been attempted to reduce the number of vehicles occupying city streets, the adoption of personalized, single-occupancy vehicles has been shown to have the largest impact. As the range of available products increases along with the capabilities (speed, distance), there are also growing concerns of safety; for the rider, other motorists, and pedestrians.
Concerns regarding preventative and proactive safety measures for the rider, lack of consistency as well as the lack of a universally recognized signaling of movement intention to nearby motorists have been a crux to the widespread adoption of these single rider vehicles.By conducting user interviews and analyzing existing and future use cases, newer safety solutions were explored and further developed. The data collected helped with the design of a system of products that are built to enhance the rider’s ability to safely integrate into existing urban commutes, as well as providing a synchronous, user-centered solution to the operational concerns of Last Mile Vehicles.
Enhancement of Human Lifestyle
Since Last Mile Vehicles are still seen as a niche product, ‘heliOs’ was designed to aid in the adoption of this kind of technology, which has been shown to dramatically reduce traffic congestion and sound pollution,
as well as acting as a more environmentally and economically conscious decision over owning a car. Through the use of signal lights, sensors, adjustable controls, and other safety considerations, the LMV experience is heightened; nullifying many concerns faced by users hesitant to switch over to this new style of transportation.
The Last Mile Vehicle, much like the automotive industry, presents users with a diverse variety of form factors to suit different needs. Everything from the method of operation, to the number of wheels, varies based on the rider’s preference.
While the overall form changes between devices, they all maintain a similar, minimalist aesthetic. This is primarily done to make vehicles accessible to a wide audience, often offering different color customization and graphic elements to them. The design aesthetic and materials match the interaction that users will have with the vehicle. Although once considered “counter-culture”, many companies have started streamlining and gentrifying the overall aesthetic of their vehicles; primarily publicly shared vehicles. This clean aesthetic can be viewed as new, futuristic, and enticing to try for the novelty of it. By maintaining a clean, minimalist aesthetic for the vehicle, it will not seem so alien and foreign to pedestrians and other motorists.
Human Factors and Ergonomics
The controller was designed to be comfortable to operate regardless of height; as it is attached to a rail system that can raise or lower depending on the users' needs.
The spacing of the two grips was designed based on a common width that was determined not to cause strain from extended use. The contour of the grips themselves and the haptic inputs was chosen to keep the wrist in a natural position without twisting them. Haptic movement controls and an AR/ touch interface for the primary screen are technologies and inputs that the target users are familiar with. heliOs was designed to be compact enough to easily transport on public transit, while also large and present enough to be safely ridden. The height the unit compresses to, as well as the size of the grip embedded into the controller, was chosen to accommodate the rider should they choose to cart their device.
Seeing as LMV operation is already considered a more environmentally conscious decision, it is safe to say that the equipment that goes along with it must also share the same message.
Last Mile Vehicles, much like conventional vehicles, are designed to be repaired as components fail. However, due to the stripped-down nature of these micro mobility options, components are easier to replace and often don’t require input from the original manufacturer (safe for defects in manufacturing or software). This already poses a large environmentally sustainable opportunity that can be factored into the vehicle design; simple to replace components that require minimal effort to repair.