Siddharth Hirwani

Volkswagen Passport -
Future of Mobility



The main challenge of the project was to look into the future of mobility and how a brand like Volkswagen can capitalize on it. Understand the it's brand values and create a future service and product  for VW.


Understanding the trends now was crucial to visualise the future. We ideated on many potential service offerings that VW could dive into and provide value to the customer and itself.


The result was a premium car sharing service. One that made available a car for you anywhere you go. The car was to be both familiar but also provide new experiences. The main area that we looked into was the aspect of responsibility. How do you ensure a shared car is taken care of.


Role in Team

I took charge in leading the team and planning the project. It was important to initially sit together and align our ideas so we could focus on the way the car looked and how the service worked. I worked along side an interaction design colleague to plan out the service aspect but also the overall user experience inside the car.


Volkswagen Passport is a premium car share service for the future of autonomous electric vehicles. The service takes advantage of Volkswagen’s global presence and it's community combined with the future trend of nomadic lifestyles and collaborative consumption. Alongside car sharing the service also paves the way for a cultural exchange using materials local to that particular place and a personal connection to the owner. The connection is created based on the theory of ‘six degrees of separation’, which is that anyone is connected to another person across the world via six or less people. This connection would hold the service together and help create a sense of respect for someone else’s car.  


Umeå Institute of Design
MFA Interaction Design

Duration / Period
5 weeks / Spring 2016

Team Members
Antti Laukkanen
(Transportation Design)
Eduardo Ferreira
(Interaction Design)

In Collaboration with

How does it work?


The service is primarily meant for professionals frequently travelling for business, allowing them to have a car anywhere they go. Providing a convenient and easy way to travel without dealing with private or public transport in a new city.  They can request to use someone's Volkswagen that is not being used during that time frame.  The request is sent to Volkswagen owners and they can accept or decline a request based on their schedule or the users ratings.  The owner can also leave suggestions for the user like places to visit or eat while they are in the city.  This in itself creates a connection between the user and the owner.  Also since the service revolves around the concept of six degrees of separation, a user might actually be linked with the car of a common friend, these create a sense of ownership and respect for someone else's car.  Both parties can evaluate and review each other to maintain the quality of the service.



Taking advantage of extra space available from the car being autonomous and electric, the vehicle sports a luxurious seating layout with ample amount of space and comfortable seats.  The seats face each other around a central instrument cluster, which is also the infotainment center.


Personal Storage

The car provides a safe storage for the owners personal items.  The storage compartment can be accessed from between the two bucket seats and requires a biometric code to open it.


Cultural Exchange

Since a car might look the same in every location a differentiation is brought about through a location and cultural difference.  Material, colours, patterns used in the trim vary from location to location.  For this instance, the images on the right show the scenarios in Finland and India respectively and how the interior varies.  



The central console is inspired from the act of people gathering around a fire.  The console is circular with a curved display on both the outer and inner side of the ring, forming a primary and secondary display.  The display is split into four quarters for each passenger sitting in the vehicle. The console is controlled via touch and speech.


Scenario and Service visualisation




The project began with ideating around the future of mobility and the aspect of ownership of cars.  We decided to build further on that and being a culturally diverse group we decided to bring a twist to the current car sharing services.  Intense brainstorming sessions were followed by storyboard scenarios and Lego serious play as tools to visualise the service, working together with transportation design students to detail the interior space.  While the the transportation design team member sketched out the interior we worked on the interaction, interface and service design.


Design Challenges

Working on a tight schedule and to develop every part of the service in detail, resolving every loop hole was quite challenging.  We were advised by tutors to move forward into different areas of the service and interior visualisations to create a scenario of part of the service.  

Role in team

This project was in collaboration with students from the Transportation Design programme at Umeå Institute of Design.  I played a crucial part while ideating and brainstorming to shape our concept.  Storyboarding service visualisations and designing the interface and interactions was also my responsibility along with a fellow interaction design classmate.