"Key Echo" Sea City of the Future

In year 2090, Key Echo will be a floating city off the new coast of once what was Miami, Florida.  Key Echo is navigable by a system of autonomous transportation and augmented reality interfaces. This project was for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, a traditional car company that wanted us to design the future of cities and autonomous transportation. Key Echo was inspired by current climate change trends and the rising of sea levels. For this project I worked with Kate Martin and Jeong Min Seo. I contributed by designing research tools, leading research sessions, synthesizing data, sketching early concepts, wire framing, animating  interfaces, and sketching final transportation concepts. 


Key Echo Sea City Districts

Key Echo has four districts: "Holiday" for tourisms and visitors, "Haven" for families and residential homes, "Enterprise" for business and downtown, and "Oasis" for arts and culture. The four districts are connected by a community center. Key Echo accommodates growth through a replicable and modular model. The city is equipped with autonomous technology to move towards shore in case of severe weather.


New Technologies in Key Echo

Through research, and forecasting the advancement of technologies, we designed Key Echo to use materials like aerogel graphene to keep the city afloat, ubiquitous contact lens devices with gestural controls, and radar autonomous navigation for transportation.


FCA Branded Autonomous Transportation 

Key Echo citizens will use a shared Fiat Chrysler system of autonomous transportation. This includes Fiat land vehicles, and Jeep and Chrysler water crafts. Each brand fulfills a different type of transportation need.


Key Echo Autonomous Land Transit

Fiat Parallel and Parrot are two modes of transportation available on Key Echo. Fiat Parallel is designed for one to two riders and navigates its riders through the city.  The Fiat Parrot holds up to six passengers and has an open cabin. Both Fiat vehicles are called through the FCA augmented reality interface.


FCA + Key Echo Interface - Calling and riding a Fiat Parallel

This interface is used with contact lens augmented reality technology. To interact with the interface you simply use your hand to control the screen. In this video you can see someone who is calling a Fiat Parallel to take them to a destination on Key Echo.


Key Echo Chrysler Autonomous Shore Transit

Key Echo Chrysler water craft transports citizens from the sea city to the new shore line of Miami. The Chrysler Reflect picks up passengers at stations on each district. The reflect schedules and station locations are available on the FCA interface.


FCA + Key Echo Interface - Riding on a Chrysler Reflect

In this video you can see an experience of someone who commutes to the shore using a Chrysler Reflect autonomous boat. 


Key Echo Jeep Autonomous Water Transit

The Jeep water crafts offer a direct and leisure service. Direct is for those who are focused on getting from point A to point B. Leisure Reverbs are for people that want to enjoy the natural scenery of Key Echo. Reverbs are water crafts that take you around Key Echo on the water or to other destinations on the water.


FCA + Key Echo Interface - Calling and riding on Jeep Reverb Leisure

In this video you can see an experience of a group of people using the FCA interface to call a jeep reverb for leisure. You can see the passengers are able to share their personal vision and interface onto the water craft windshield.


Fiat Chrysler Presentation

We presented our project to Fiat Chrysler Automobile executives and designers, including famous car designer Ralph Gilles! We walked them through our research findings and key echo concept. Jeong Min is holding a 3D printed model of Key Echo.


Interface Wireframes

I used hand sketching to think through how a key echo residence could call and travel with the autonomous transportation system. 


Sea City Concept Sketches

We ideated various concept ideas through hand sketching. These explored different city structures and systems. I used an iPad Pro + Procreate to digitally sketch our ideas.


Synthesizing Findings

In order to understand the data we collected through generative research, our team created an affinity diagram. By categorizing and prioritizing data we came up with three key insights. Based on our understanding, people want:

1. proximity, convenience, + privacy
2.  transportation options: type, destinations, + activities while in transit
3.  nature + technology to coexist


Generative Research Methods

Our team used generative research methods to understand what people want in autonomous vehicles and future sea cities. This included expert interviews, typeform surveys, card sorts, and a floating abstract city make tool.