Brief: Reinvent the process of parking in Pittsburgh with particular focus on the interaction between driver and parking kiosk.
Team: Zach Bachiri, Gray Crawford, Katie Herzog, Devika Khowala
Role: Concept development, field research, animation
Duration: 2 weeks
Software: Sketch, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, After Effects
Brief: Reimagine the process of parking in Pittsburgh with particular focus on the interaction between driver and parking kiosk.
With these parameters in mind, we set out to address the issue of parking inefficiency by designing a system to incentivize space-efficient parking. Ultimately, we devised a concept in which curb-mounted sensors with corresponding lights delineate modular parking units. These units form the basis of payment and also double as a visual communication system between driver and kiosk.
01. PROBLEM DEFINITION
After receiving the project brief, we set out to define our problem space. We started by recording the range of parking scenarios present in the city of Pittsburgh, noting those that presented the most challenging experience for drivers.
Based on prevalence in Pittsburgh and the relative number of pain points identified, we chose to narrow our focus to public, metered on-street parking.
We then began to assemble a collection of the most common problems drivers face when finding and paying for on-street parking in Pittsburgh, drawing from our own experiences and field observations.
With these challenges in mind, we set out to conduct exploratory research in Pittsburgh’s Strip District, a historic market district with significant
weekend popularity and a high rate of turnover (this combination creates
traffic congestion and leads to
Walking through the most trafficked area in the district, we observed that a lack of parking efficiency ultimately led to a reduction in the number of vehicles able to park on a given block. So, on a Sunday morning (a time the area is usually fairly busy) we measured and recorded the distances between vehicles parked on the street in the 1900 block of Penn Avenue.
02. EXPLORATORY RESEARCH
How might we make parking in Pittsburgh more efficient?
Given our field observations, we established a set of primary and secondary objectives to guide our concept development, focusing on both individual and social utility.
03. OBJECTIVES & CRITERIA
01. Must encourage more efficient parking
02. Must allow for flexibility in vehicle size
03. Must reduce complexity of the input required for parking
04. Must integrate with the urban environment in an unobtrusive manner
01. Should create a more intuitive and visible connection between vehicle and payment
02. Should guide the user from vehicle to kiosk
03. Should render visible parking restrictions
04. DESIGN CONCEPT TOUCHPOINTS
The initial Iota ecosystem consists of curb-side sensors, a network of on-street kiosks, and the driver. However, future development of an app or other on-board assistant could reduce or negate the need for kiosks.
Driver pulls into available parking space as normal (open spaces are marked by unlit modules and restricted zones are marked with a warning color to communicate with drivers before leaving the flow of traffic.)
Driver approaches kiosk, views number of spaces occupied by vehicle (automatically relayed from curb-side sensors to kiosk) and corresponding cost/hour. If parked inefficiently (e.g. occupying a space that could otherwise hold two cars), system alerts driver and allows for adjustment.*
Driver is able to select a desired duration on sliding scale and complete payment. Throughout the process, the driver sees a scale representation of their vehicle and is able to visually connect his or her on-screen actions with the physical environment.
*The hope is that over time - as drivers learn to park more efficiently - the adjustment would become unnecessary.
05. USER FLOW
The goal of Iota is to create a more intuitive and therefore smoother dialogue between driver and parking system. System inputs (including sensor data) and outputs (like blinking lights) are integrated into the parking and payment process to alleviate some of the uncertainties that arise in the existing paradigm.
(Click to enlarge)
(Click to enlarge)
06. MOBILE APP
*This portion of the project undertaken as a personal exploration*
The Iota concept opens a host of opportunities for further expansion, including more thorough communication between driver and system. This could take the form of an on-board parking assistant app, which could match vehicle data with curb-side conditions to determine viability and efficiency of spaces before a driver pulls over. An app or heads-up display could also eliminate the need for a driver to consult the kiosk screen in order to gauge his or her parking efficiency by providing real-time instruction.