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Speerex is a design project led by Tsinghua's X-lab for The BMW Group NEXTGen Prize. During the course of the project, I concentrated on :

  • Retractable electric vehicle

  • Augmented reality user experience

My Role
Product Designer
Industrial Designer

3D Prototyper

Project Type
Product Design
Mobility Design

Industrial Design
Interaction Design
Spring 2020
(2 months)

Tools Used
Adobe Photoshop,
Fusion 360, Keyshot,

After Effect



According to many observers, sprawl doesn't achieve its promise of a better life. The conflicts between rapidly expanding urban radius and accessibility are rising. A research paper published in the Scandinavian Journal of Economics in 2008 reported a direct correlation between longer commutes and lowered subjective well-being. Marchetti's constant indicates the average time spent by a person commuting each day is approximately one hour or half an hour for a one-way trip. However, the majority of citizens living in first- and second-tier cities face arduous and exhausting commute times of more than an hour, which is excessive and can significantly reduce life's quality. Thus, it is imperative to bring up a mobility solution to improve the user experience of urban travel.

  • Longer commutes

  • Exhausting commute time

  • Bad driving experience


In the following picture, A symbolizes core urban districts, whereas B, C, D, E, and F represent satellite city centers that are on average 20 – 50 kilometers from the center. The growing number of urban satellites indicates that residents are opting to live in the suburbs in order to benefit from low housing and living costs. However, in this situation, people are likely to spend more than 50 – 90 minutes traveling one way between the city core and satellite centers.


Problem Defined

Through research on conventional transportation and the urbanization trend, citizens face a longer commute time (2-3 hours/day) with frustration in their daily traveling.

Project Goals

  • Transforms stressful journeys into additional leisure and productive time filled with social interactions and entertainment.​
  • Introduce a futuristic mobility solution that incorporates retractable wheels, improving the adaptability of traveling in crowded cities.

Design Research

Conventional Transportation Methods

Through research on conventional transportation and the urbanization trend, citizens face a longer commute time (2-3 hours/day) with frustration in their daily traveling.
Public Transportation 

Pros: cheap, fast, convenient
Cons: no private space, no storage space,
           less flexibility, long waiting times

Pros: cheap / fast / convenient

Cons driving fatigue / high cost/ air pollution


Based on my research into urbanization and inhabitants' lives in satellite areas, I decided to create a premium intelligent transportation design that stands apart from conventional automobiles, thereby improving their traveling experience. I opted to conduct an in-depth design study to better understand the market and consumer needs.

Technology and adaptability are the two design qualities that I value the most. By benchmarking the competing rivals, I noticed that most autos lack AR direction and entertainment. Most cars are far too large and lack ambidexterity shuttling in the city's narrow streets. Thus, I'd like to design autonomous electric mobility which strives towards integrated, personalized, and multi-driving modes on demand.



BMW Research

After researching the BMW designs, I found that most cars are four-seaters with traditional implementation. Even though coupled with technological advances, the designs of the BMW series are conventional and lack innovation and customization. In contrast, Generation Z's thriving market yearning for mobility design values the expression of individual identity. The first true digital natives- Gen-zers- are looking for the consumption that couldn't define themselves through only one stereotype but rather for individuals to experiment with different ways of being themselves and shape their individual identities over time.

Thus, I decided to redesign the car's dimensions by shortening its length, increasing its height, and expanding its space to achieve an SUV design with a cozy space for 1-2 passengers inside

Dimensions of the BMW series

  • length: 4319-5151 mm

  • width: 1774-2004 mm

  • height: 1410-1745

Design Concept



My concept focuses on the feature of retractable car undercarriage and tire bearings that are adjustable in height and width in various modes. I took inspiration from the retractable bearings of the robotic arm. It can assist the user in adjusting the car's mode to their specific needs. For example, In wild off-road driving, the user can raise the car bin to widen the view and extend the four wheels to increase the friction between the car and the ground. In urban commuting driving, users can reduce the space occupied by the car on narrow city streets and save more parking space.

Final Design

Diegetic UI research

I adopted the 'diegetic UI' concept from video games to provide passengers with a more immersive user experience, helping them interact with their car in a holographic way. In terms of the design, user interfaces for virtual reality must be designed with particular considerations that are typically disregarded in standard automotive interior design development. Legibility, visual depth, and interactivity are all important factors in creating great VR UI components.

Interaction Demo


Next Step

The process of designing this project enriched my knowledge of the mobility solution and the potential of in-car interaction, which is boosted by AI assistive technology. One crucial sub-design domain under the hood of futuristic mobility design is that it's too centralized the main menus and interfaces on the infotainment. It may cause safety issues and inconvenience when the central dashboard is down. 

What I will continue to develop regarding the infotainment and dashboard are:
  • Improve the UX of the touchscreen due to the hamburger menu and the too-simplified icons
  • Improve the inconsistency in UI design and icon set
  • Improve the color contrast, the small size of the text, and the lack of visual cues of the existing electric vehicles



Other Works


UI/UX Design, Service Design, Sustainable Design

Developed a service design system that extends the life cycle of shoes and reduces the carbon footprint through the recycling process


UI/UX Design, Hardware design, Design Thinking

Designed user experience of hearing aids and music app to improve the mental health of elderly people

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