Xerox Transportation launches mobility pilot after beta testing in select cities across the US.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that the company most responsible for creating the modern personal computer is continuing to invest in research and development projects capable of changing our world. Since 1970, through its R&D labs, Xerox has built a distinguished reputation as a innovative technology leader, helping invent the Graphical User Interface, Ethernet, laser printing, and even Object Oriented Programming.
Now Xerox is focused on revolutionizing the way we travel. Since 2010, Xerox Innovation Group, spread out across four research centers globally, has been designing new technologies to enable smarter mobility. Xerox is helping cities all over the world to optimize their transit systems and traffic flows, and get people where they need to be, quicker and with less hassle.
A central part of this initiative is the Xerox Mobility Marketplace – an ambitious vision for a unified travel subscription for city dwellers and visitors, branded for a specific city, integrating all the different modes of public and private transportation seamlessly into one easy-to-use app.
Leonid Antsfeld is in charge of Business Development for Transportation in Xerox Research Center Europe. As the Product Owner responsible for Xerox Mobility Marketplace, Antsfeld faced a unique challenge to recruit the right beta testers for the first real-world tests for the city-specific apps in Los Angeles and Denver.
It was important that testers represented a range of demographics and device types, and a mix of public and private transportation users and not only those that primarily relied on their car.
“The first question was– where do we find testers?” asked Antsfeld. “The key challenges were defining and recruiting the right audience, determining which features to test, what questions to ask, and how to interpret the answers. We had to analyze and understand the feedback – what is important and what is less important?”
When searching for a beta testing partner, Xerox turned to ErliBird. “ErliBird left the best impression and they were recommended by our partners that used the service in the past,” said Antsfeld.
From the early stages of planning through execution, ErliBird worked with Xerox to design a successful beta testing campaign. ErliBird helped define the target audience, create the beta tasks and feedback questionnaire, recruit and coordinate with the testers, and summarize and help analyze the results.
“The ErliBird campaign was extremely helpful, literally from the first minutes of the launch when we immediately started to receive instant feedback through the app,” said Antsfeld. “Besides fixing many bugs, we also learned what potential users liked and disliked in the app, and what direction they would like to see it going in the future.”
Today the future for Mobility Marketplace looks bright and the vision is more important now than ever. Urban Millennials are interested in simplifying their life with flexible, environmentally-friendly travel options and participating in the sharing economy through the use of car and bike-sharing services. Just as important, there are huge advantages for cities that prioritize the availability of different transport choices: pollution reduction, improved health and happiness, reduced accidents, and the potential for sustainable population growth with a high quality of life.
“We took testers’ feedback very seriously and are already working on integrating requested functionality in the next versions,” said Antsfeld. “We aim to have bi-weekly updates with bug fixes and minor improvements and once a quarter to release major versions updates with new functionality. We are definitely are planning to continue to work closely with ErliBird before any major release.”
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