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While we are seeking solutions to live more simply and downsize, the way we manage our household goods has hardly changed.
This project proposed a future strategy for Penske Truck Rental to help their users adept to compact living spaces.
Penske PUMP is a home logistic service to smartly tidy up what we own, and circulate what we no longer use to others or recycling facilities.
Penske PUMP is a home logistics service to smartly tidy up what we own and circulate what we no longer use to others or recycling facilities.
* This project does not reflect the view of Penske & Synthetic Sensors
Future Living
In the next few years, the greatest challenge of urban growth will be the high cost of rent and building energy. To continue to live in compact spaces comfortably, users will need to declutter their home regularly.
"By 2025, buildings worldwide will be the largest consumer of global energy costs, more than the transportation and industry sectors combined."
– National Science and Technology Council
Penske's Challenge:
A Weak Brand Recognition
Although Penske is one of the leading companies in the truck rental industry, the company has a hard time to connect with their consumer base and crack into the DIY truck rental business.
“I’ve always used U-Haul. Honestly, I don’t know there are other brands out there.”
– Shane (household truck rental user)
Penske struggles to connect with consumer base.
DIY Truck Rental Service Market Share
Research Process
User Research
I focused on understanding the project in three key aspects: users, macro trends, and the market.
Obstacles to Keeping Track of Belongings and Handling Waste in Everyday Life.
I interviewed self-moving users and documented their moving journey to understand key pain points and this demographic.
__Key Insights & Process
Macro & Meso Trends
The future of the self-moving industry is impacted by urban growth, personal wellbeing, and the progression of AI and advanced automation.
To get a comprehensive picture, I researched emerging trends across society, technology, economy, environment, and politics.
Urban space has one of the fastest-growing demand and cost. People have the desire to function with fewer things. The integration of the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) has become even more ubiquitous.
How can Penske provide products that align with these future changes?
__Key Trends
Key Problem & Opportunity
Pain points of DIY moving are rooted in the user’s daily habit of storing their goods.
Consumers struggle with tidying up their home routinely because of the complexity of keeping track of their personal/household goods.
Penske Truck Rental can leverage the company’s strengths in logistics and warehousing to provide a proactive solution to manage and declutter their living environment.
Penske's specialties in warehousing and logistics could help organizing household environment.
The daily habit of creating clutteredness: no inventory, not aware of items' conditions, and the hurdle to get rid of stuff.
I distilled the interviews, research, and key insights into this persona of a young couple, Christian and Kyra, who live in a compact house.
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The PUMP System
PUMP includes an unobtrusive hub and a service that helps consumers manage their belongings.
Like our heart which pumps blood through vessels to remove metabolic waste, this circulatory service assists consumers to manage their belongings and tidy up their living environment.
01. The PUMP Hub
Using General-Purpose Sensing and machine learning, the PUMP hub monitors the inventory of household goods in real time without compromising people’s privacy. 
*This project doesn't reflect the view of Synthetic Sensors
Real-Time Inventory & Geotagging
Personal inventory is updated through the hub in real-time. A new item is registered in the PUMP Hub once an item is purchased. This hub will then follow up on the location and current status after the user puts the item in the house.
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Intervene Your Purchasing and Organizing Habits.
The database of personal/household goods is synced with user’s devices. It notifies users when they are purchasing stuff they already have, and gives suggestions when users are putting their stuff in a random place.
Notify user to declutter.
02 The PUMP Service
Connected with the hub, the PUMP service automatically notifies user to declutter their environment.
Physical Prototype
Exploring how the physical interface communicates “cluttered/un-cluttered.” Size and structure are determined by the components that go inside the hub.
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Digital Prototype
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__Initial Flow
__Paper Mockup
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