Thoughts on creating a new mobility service from scratch.

Cover for moovel in a Box

At moovel lab, one of the things we do is investigate how mobility could change in the future. You probably know about autonomous cars and you’ve maybe heard of upcoming technologies such as the Hyperloop. Well, we kept all these inventions in the back of our minds and tried to think of alternatives that could directly be implemented into our daily lives with the resources we already have today.

After our speculative design video: The Autonomous Human Drone Taxi, we were keen to once more radically simplify mobility. “What’s easier than sending a package from A to B?”, we thought, “and what if this service would be available for us, now?” This is when we started the process of inventing a speculative mobility service: moovel box.

You Will Literally Ship Yourself

Although the idea might seem ridiculous at first, the more you think about it, the more interesting it becomes. As the logistics around our parcel services grow to become more and more time and cost efficient, we have had a closer look at what aspects could be transferable into mobility.

We quickly found that decent scalability could only happen with standardisation. In logistics it’s a square box (ranging from a small amazon size to 40 ft shipping units). Applying this service to (almost) all transportation modes, the moovel box modules could be backpacked by various private and public infrastructures.

As cities and population grow, public transportation systems become extremely busy. Finding a way to bypass the downsides of public transportation while utilising the upsides of logistics means a box might in the end be a nice form of transport. Think of what you could get:

  • Cheaper Access to individual transport
  • No Distraction & Even more time for work
  • More comfort in a busy environment
  • Just in time arrival by using precise logistical systems

Creating a Mobility Service

For our transit box we tried to apply the scale of well known parcel services to an individual transportation system. This new mobility service was supposed to be a on-demand pick up and drop off service.

It was important for us to integrate the moovel box in to existing infrastructures. Therefore, we tried to keep the system as simple and accessible as possible, using affordable solutions.

We challenged ourselves to investigate the credibility and possibility of travelling in a closed environment. We were eager to design a 'human travel pod' that would be as comfortable as possible and where the wish to work, eat and relax could be fulfilled.

Service Design out of a User’s Perspective

Service Design has been an emerging topic in times of digitalization. Having a variety of products to choose from for a particular need, the service associated with a product is frequently what makes us choose product X over the others.

Creating a mobility service from scratch allowed us to practice different methods of service design ranging from creating personas to user journeys, interface mock-ups, etc., while always thinking in steps of what happens before, during and after using a mobility box.

Making it Happen

After creating this (until now) fictional service by combining our idea with goals and methods, we quickly came to the point that we wanted to see what our moovel box would be like in reality. We got together with David Leonard and built a story around this by making a video of a travelpod in action.

Only one thing was missing so far... What would this travel box look like? Derived from our service design the team at Takram joined forces with Studio MAKECREATE and built the travel pod with all the amenities needed to feel comfortable during your journey from A to B. This incorporated the answers to all the questions a traveller might have, like how can I work here, what happens to my bodily needs, how do I know where I am?

Instant gratification has become part of our mindset.

  • Nat Parker

Looking at this project in the greater moovel picture quickly brings us to Nat’s quote. How mobility services, on-demand behaviour and technology can come together to simplify our daily lives. To create the future of transportation, you have to think outside the box.

Transportation in a box might sound crazy, but so does the future of mobility. Join moovel as we try out new ideas that could change the way people get around in cities. Our beta community receives early access to new products and features, influencing what we build. Find out how to be part of this community on


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