Zane Liu
Be curious.

Creating Urban Rover

Can innovation and frugality enable new modes of urban living?

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Early Concepts

Research, Interviews, and Concepts

To learn about the market and its potential users, research and interviews were conducted with two groups: urban professionals and present van life citizens. Van life has a large existing community in Southern California, where I attended a meet up to learn and discuss directly with users.

The aggregated user needs and pain points from these interviews were the source of inspiration for initial Rover designs and features. These ideas were tested and critiqued before developing detailed plans.  

Plan Views

Plan Views and Full Scale Mock Ups

Different iterations of plan views were developed to ideate on potential sizes for the Urban Rover. To begin, every detailed component from drivetrain parts to utensils were compiled and dimensioned. These components were pieced together and tested in various permutations.

A series of full scale tape mock ups were built to test the interior footprint. The final Urban Rover layout is based on an amalgamation of features and dimensions of the early large and mini rover concepts. 

CAD Modeling

Modeling and Rendering

Using the scaled plan view of the Rover, the design was built in PTC Creo, rendered using AutoCAD VRED, and animated using 3DS Max. The initial CAD model was built with purely quadrilateral forms to test tolerances and form. Later the design was rounded and cleaned up to higher fidelity.

The physical space of the Urban Rover is designed to maximize interior space given the vehicle sized footprint. Although the shape is recognizably a vehicle, it offers the utilities of a home with ample headspace and open views.

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality

In order to capture the modular experience of the Urban Rover, the 3D model of the vehicle was brought into Unity VR for an interactive experience. Two VR environments were built, one of an urban space and another of a beach scene. Animations were then added to showcase user experience.

In order to make the VR world realistic, various details such as sounds and motion were added. In the city scene, pedestrians and other vehicles can be seen traveling. At the beach, ocean sounds play from nearby the Rover.