If you talk with a couple raising a newborn, they’ll tell you that casual transport and journeys are a lot harder than they ever anticipated. There are a lot of nuances that only then become clear. With the future fast approaching, I believe that the ownership model of vehicles will become obsolete in the future, meaning mobility will be used as a service.
In the hope of accommodating a 3 member family called 'fractal family' - which every family will pass through a phase, I have developed CARe – a vehicle that does not compromisethe togetherness, care & separation experienced in today's car while travelling with a child. Complete with a removable baby stroller, CARe can be manipulated to facilitate from newborns to children aged 5. The vehicle itself has a somewhat elegant tone across the colors and materials chosen, revealing a premium service for the family that oozes quality, safety and assurance through form, colour and finish.
Filled with sensors and some neat technology (similar to that of a Segway) the handsfree baby stroller provides a more comfortable transition from automotive vehicle to baby stroller in a seamless fashion. There is no doubt the CMF choices and wheel design of the stroller are inextricably linked to the primary vehicle, and it neatly ties together but you can’t help but feel you’ll want to keep that baby stroller after the service.
I interviewed 5 families across 4 cities in the United Kingdom from a couple expecting a child to a couple with two children less than 5yrs old. I am thankful to them for letting me spend a weekend with them and experience the challenges first hand. At the end of the research, we did an ideation together to come with a seating layout that they felt was the best while travelling with a child. These case studies built a solid platform towards the final design from an innovation, service, aesthetics, usability and colour point of view.
Reflecting the needs of the newborn and parents,CARe is a fun look into the future of autonomous service vehicles and one with a twist rarely looked into – potentially this may open the minds of conceptdesigners.
I am extremely thankful to my sponsor SAIC-Design, Shanghai for the 3D model support towards the project.
Now displayed at the London Transport Museum 2018
Project was sponsored by SAIC Design, Shanghai 2017
Showcased at Dubai Design Week Nov. 2017
Published in Interior Motives Summer 2017 & CarDesignNews website 2017
Published Yanko design website Dec. 2018
Shortlisted for Helen Hamlyn Awards & Korean Biennial 2017
Innovation - Child pram cum car seat
Inspiration & Sketches
1:4 scale interior
RCA 2017 show: 1:4 car, pram & human scale
CARe – an autonomous service for a fractal family
Child seat in a car today is a
retrofit that compromises togetherness, care and separation at the same time. ‘CARe’
is an autonomous electric vehicleservice-based-solution that is designed around children
from 0-5yrs. The concept is an attempt to improve parent-child travel
experience. Extensive research and ideation with families makes this design
solution a unique one. Child seat transforms into Segway-based autonomous pram,
making ‘traveling-with-baby’ extremely convenient.
When I observed young families
travel in their cars, I realized that the way we live in our homes is not the
way we travel in our cars. A child seat is retrofit on the rear of a car when the
family is travelling and this for me upsets the equation of togetherness during
the travel. The age of a child from 0-5yr is critical in the growth due to the
attention and learning the child needs and goes through.
own a car that is parked more than the amount of time it is used. Running costs
of owning a car are high and this is apart from the monthly payments that need
to be done towards loan repayments. So it seems thatthe product is underutilized most of the times.
For a Child seat, consumers tend to purchase the best
quality-no compromise top rated products for their children. However once the
child outgrows the seat, these products need to be disposed mostly. Pram/Pushchair:
Need to be bought separately since most of them do not adapt to the car seat.
This leads to peoplebuying larger cars once they have children to accommodate
the child seat and the pram/pushchair in the boot. The concept of station wagon
is a direct solution to such need.
Four case studies with families
having one child from age 3months to 7years were done. There have been very interesting
insights that have come forwards from this close interactions and observations
after spending at least 2-3 days with each family. What makes the solution
unique is that it is a proposal that is not imagined but created in partnership
during the interaction with the families. The ideation to arrive at a solution
was done with the families and they had been invited to the final RCA show to
see a 1:4 scale model of the car and the autonomous unit. Process of research;
Questionnaire to both parents and child
weekends with families and make observations and draw insights
with mannequins - ideal seating layout
extensive study spanned almost a month. For example, 3 months old Eva's father
would sit behind in the car whereas mother would drive the car. So there was a
disconnect in sharing and the togetherness observed which resonated with all
the case studies. So during ideation the primary purpose of keeping the child
in between the adult seats came as the best solution.
model here is non-ownership one. Both car and the pram chair are autonomous
level 5. This is a service that will be used as and when necessary mostly for
an urban scenario.
two modes of seating. In both modes, the child seat is in the middle of adult
seats. This is to be able to experience the journey together as a family. The
baby/child seat changes modes from back facing to front facing as the child
Is applicable from 0-3years where the child seat or rather position is parent
facing and in the middle where the parents can touch the child. This is done to
not only to assure the child being safe but also an emotional connect while
travelling. A baby’s spine is under development until the age of 3 and the
weight of the head is relatively more. Therefore it is essential to make the
baby face backwards while travelling.
From 3-5years is a sitting position at an eye level with the parent, facing in
the same direction and sharing the experience of the journey. The seat changes
position to become upright and facing forwards to be able to sit a child from
3-5years ages. It also pushes the seat position higher to match the eye level
of adults. The idea is to be able to share the experience of travel as a
family. Spine of a child develops enough that it can now face forwards.
is the biggest innovation of this project. The Pram chair itself is the child
seat inside the car, that moves on two wheels both inside and outside the car.
The Pram Chair has only two wheels since it is based on Segway technology. This
Pram Chair is also autonomous that is a part of the service package but can
also be ordered independently. It can optionally come with or without the car.
This eliminated the problem of owning multiple child seats. The Pram Chair need
not be pushed with hand, but moves with the parent since it is laden with
proximity sensors connected to smart devices in pocket or on wrist.
are usually considered boring and not emotional. The attempt here is to make
the family car look dynamic, agile and appealing to the customer. The key
customer or decision makers here are the young parents. The car is designed
around the child is functionally, however emotionally it has been designed
around adults. The exterior design has a very strong character of a frame in
champagne colour that signifies a protective envelope around the occupants.
Ingress & Egress is done from the front of the car, since both adults and
the Pram Chair need to move in and out of the car easily. Being electric there
is not engine, however the flat batteries in the floor drive two hub motors on
the rear wheels. The stance of the car is forward leaning since being a car
with not engine in the front lets it have a forward leaning stance. This is a
new trend in electric vehicles. Wheel covers do not rotate, however the tires
do. A strong shut-line along the side of the car runs from the centre of the
front wheel to the roof where the entire glass canopy hinges to form a door
that opens up giving a grand feeling of arrival.