Defining the future of mobility for Volkswagen
Defining the future of mobility for Volkswagen
Understanding customer needs in a driverless future

Back in 2015, Volkswagen was looking for a partner to help them to define the types of in-car experiences and services customers would want to have in an autonomous future where driving is no longer essential. Although the team understood the technology that would be available to enhance the automotive experience, they called upon Hellon to dive deeper into how customers would think about and use a driverless car – for example, just because a parent could put their kids in a driverless taxi to school – would they want to?

Customers driving radical innovation

Hellon embarked on an extensive ethnographic research study spanning 3 major cities (London, Hamburg, and Helsinki) and focusing on 6 key user groups - families, fragile, born-digital, business users, commuters, and travelers. Hellon began by mapping each distinct city profile to understand how the size, infrastructure, and current mobility options might affect the future automotive landscape.

Across the 3 cities, Hellon then interviewed a total of 132 customers through a series of group workshops; understanding their mobility activities, needs, and challenges; their aspirations, and fears around the future of cars; and what current services they feel support their aims and needs. The resulting insight uncovered several driving factors that had a significant impact on the desirability of autonomous vehicles, services and experiences.

Mobility guided by customer experience design

The result was a collection of customer experience scenarios for the future of autonomous driving – a rich opportunity landscape co-created with the VW team ready to use as a springboard for future ideas. The CX scenarios outlined the role that VW should play in the driverless future and the CX principles that must be true to appeal to future customers. To complement these principles, Hellon outlined in detail 6 customer profiles, each representing one of the interviewed user groups, including a projection of their future needs and use cases.

Hellon produced 6 future user stories that describe the design challenges and business opportunities in a compelling way for the different units of Volkswagen – brought to life through several empathy videos that showcased real customer voices. Hellon supported VW by running a series of workshops to begin the process of ideation against the journeys. Acting as CX guardians Hellon ensured the customer voice is always represented in the room both now and in the future.

Define customer value for future success
  • +100 people across Volkswagen Group brands engaged in Hellon’s innovation process.
  • 6 service scenarios defining the customer value on how to drive future success in the autonomous driving segment.
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