How to attract and retain the new generation of operators

Volvo has a longstanding history of collaborating with academia to develop innovative concepts to address the challenges our customers face every day. Students provide an unbiased perspective; challenging preconceived ideas and creating new concepts that help us see the problems with a new set of lenses.

Matthew Dworman, Tejas Kashyap, Shawn Koid, Rebecca George, Sijia Li,  Wyatt Hagen.

Matthew Dworman, Tejas Kashyap, Shawn Koid, Rebecca George, Sijia Li, Wyatt Hagen.

The Challenge
Since 2014, Volvo has partnered with Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh PA to develop innovative concepts, leveraging the diversity and in-depth knowledge Carnegie Mellon has in engineering, product design, and business development. This year, the challenge required creating solutions to help existing operators transition from manual operation to remote control or autonomous operation, maximizing the productivity our customers expect from Volvo while creating the right conditions to attract and retain the new generation of operators.

Solving the problem
During the 15 weeks of the project, the students applied the "Design Thinking" methodology, an approach used for practical and creative problem-solving.

 

Fredy Daza, Senior Innovation Manager in the Silicon Valley Innovation Lab

Fredy Daza, Senior Innovation Manager in the Silicon Valley Innovation Lab

“The Design Thinking methodology enabled the Carnegie Mellon Team to focus on the needs and pains of the machine operators, and come up with solutions that help them be more productive and safe in their daily job”, explains Fredy Daza, Senior Innovation Manager in the Silicon Valley Innovation Lab where the project took place. “The students identified over 90 ideas that resulted in five primary concepts which were prioritized based on the value created to the customer and operators”, he continues.

Next Step
The team developed a prototype of the most valuable concept, a user interface for operators such as remote controls for operators, and tested their hypothesis with operators and customers.

The insights of this work are now transferred to Volvo CE as an additional perspective to consider in the development of our future products and services.

The students identified over 90 ideas that resulted in five primary concepts which were prioritized based on the value created to the customer and operators

Facts about Innovation Lab – Silicon Valley

The Innovation Lab in Silicon Valley is a part of Volvo Group Connected Solutions and it is headed by Director Jenny Elfsberg. Projects are conducted in a collaboration with internal business areas, universities, and start-ups in the Silicon Valley area.

Ideas and initiatives can origin from other Volvo Group business areas, from ideas born in workshops with the start-up community – or start with a new insight from analyzing data from our connected assets.

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