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POP.UP Urban Future Mobility

Client: Volkswagen AG


Pop.Up is a modular vehicle concept designed to transport people autonomously to their desired destinations. The primary vehicle is a two-person passenger capsule that can be paired with ground and air modules.

The Pop.Up concept is a result of a collaboration between Italdesign (a Volkswagen Group company) and Airbus. It's designed to address the mobility challenges of urban megacities, which have become pressing issues for commuters worldwide.

The project aims to further develop the Pop.Up concept by exploring the production of new mobility services and sustainable solutions valuable to customers.

The main objectives of the project are to:

  1. Develop a viable business model.

  2. Develop a concept of a service model.

  3. Identify and prototype relevant touchpoints in the user journey.

popup - future of urban mobility
popup - future of urban mobility


From the project's inception, we aimed to use design methodology to provide user-centric solutions for the Pop.Up service concept and surrounding ecosystem. Our research process consisted of four main phases: research, exploration, validation, and finalization.

The research phase included desktop research and user interviews. The desktop research allowed us to better understand megatrends and current and future mobility solutions. Based on insights from the desktop research, user research, and team discussions, we selected seven target groups for user interviews and conducted fourteen in-depth interviews in London and Helsinki.

The exploration phase addressed the investigation of different opportunities that could provide value for users. It included two parts: analysis and concept creation. During the analysis, we reviewed interview transcripts and notes to understand users' needs and values. In the concept creation phase, we first created personas for each target group based on insights gathered from user interviews. We then conducted an ideation workshop to generate ideas for each target group using the created personas. The outcome of concept creation was an initial customer journey, purchasing model, and digital touchpoints in the form of digital prototypes.

Next, we initiated the validation phase, where the main purpose was to evaluate the concept's viability from both user and expert perspectives. For this, we conducted one user workshop and two expert workshops in Germany to validate several aspects of the concept, including journey experience, service touchpoints, features, and functionalities.

The final phase of the project was finalization. In this phase, we utilized the decision matrix to narrow our focus to one target group and location with the highest potential. We then adopted tools and techniques such as the service blueprint, value proposition canvas, and business model canvas to finalize the project's outcome.

popup - research process illustration
popup project - picture of team activities


To build a business model for the Pop.Up concept, we initially used the value proposition canvas to define the characteristics of the selected target group, their needs, challenges, and what provides value to them. We then used the business model canvas to explore different aspects of the business model. We also created marketing materials to show how potential customers can be approached and how the service can be promoted in the future.


To showcase all elements of our concept, we decided to create a conceptual Pop.Up transport network. We proposed several station concepts and an overall logic for the transportation network. We visualized how these stations can be connected to form a network throughout the city.


To demonstrate how service digital touchpoints and the conceptual network work, we created a scenario. In this scenario, a customer journey is introduced and illustrated from a potential user's perspective. The customer journey illustrates an individual's journey and introduces all the basic functionalities and touchpoints of the service step by step.


We developed a more detailed version of the customer journey as a service blueprint. This blueprint illustrates the user's journey and also explains backstage actions and support processes needed from the service provider to enable the service to function.


Finally, we created a roadmap that shows our vision for how the Pop.Up transport network could evolve in the upcoming years, by linking our study's findings with future needs of megacities.

popup project - user journey and infrastructure concept
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