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Music City Smart Public Transit

The success of future cities will be built upon transportation systems that are smart, inclusive and sustainable.

Client:
Nashville, TN
transportation
smart city
autonomous

We at Nonfiction are focused on designing for a better future. Smart cities will lead the way to a future that is built on equality and sustainability. One that is centered around the well-being of residents, and fosters pleasure in their daily lives. To reach the full potential of future cities, we need a mobility system that empowers people to interact with all aspects of their urban environment.

To show what this future might look like, we follow Lisa and Tony as they journey through the Nashville of tomorrow.

Lisa and Tony are Hyperlooping from Washington DC for an extended weekend to celebrate Tony's birthday in style. They will use Nashville's smart systems to navigate the city seamlessly, from the revitalized transit center to the many iconic places including their very own home base for the weekend – the luxurious Hermitage Hotel.

Day 1: 1:00 pm

The GoNashville app – a gateway to planning a seamless and exciting weekend away.  

The Hermitage Hotel cleverly added a link to the GoNashville app in confirmation email. This helps their visitors with events, intuitive planning and mobility about the city. Tony and Lisa use the app's AR wayfinding feature to guide them to their reserved seats on the Hyperloop. By answering a few questions, the AI quickly learns their preferences and makes tailored recommendations. In no time, Tony and Lisa have an itinerary that the app will use to find the best transportation options, tickets, and reservations throughout their Nashville weekend.

Day 1: 4:30 pm

Lisa and Tony arrive via Hyperloop to a revisioned Transit Station – a central hub for the city's  connected community.

Tony and Lisa step off the Hyperloop to notice an open and inviting scene laden with wooden accents reminiscent of the Nashville they've seen in pictures. People wait for trains around the tree-like columns as displays of local city representatives welcome tourists to Music City.

Outside the station, Tony and Lisa marvel at the architecture. Its modern envelope fits the growing transit needs of Nashville, while preserving the historic legacy underneath. The plaza outside is alive with the sounds of Music City, the smells of local foods trucks, and the vibrant nature of people bustling around. Hungry, they make their way towards the food trucks.

Presented with a variety of food truck options, Lisa and Tony choose Nashville's legendary Prince's Hot Chicken Shack to kick things off. With food in hand, they follow the sounds of local live music to the river below. The area is designed for group events with plenty of seating. The couple sits down for lunch, delighted with the sweeping panoramic views of the Cumberland River and the sounds of local music.

Day 1 : 5:30 pm

Plan, Pay and Go on the GoNashville app makes getting to their hotel as easy as Chess pie.

Because the app is connected to all mobility options, it allows them to simply plan, pay, and go - from the first mile to the last - according to her needs.

Day 1: 9:00 pm

After a quick refresh at the hotel, Lisa and Tony are ready to go into the thick of things. They decide on checking out The Second Fiddle on Nashville's famous downtown Music Row. The quick nav on the GoNashville app shares their options for getting there. They can walk for eight minutes or ride electric scooters for three. They decide to ride to the bar for fun.

Day 2: 12:30 am

Tony and Lisa's private AEV is the perfect end to a fun evening.

The Second Fiddle doesn't disappoint. After some drinks and dancing, Tony and Lisa decide to call it a night. It is late, and they prefer to get a ride back to the hotel. Opening up his GoNashville app, Tony requests a private vehicle to take them to their hotel.  The autonomous electric vehicle (AEV) arrives promptly. Using analytics it avoids congestion and fosters greater customer satisfaction. The color code in the app syncs with lights on the AEV, making it easy to find on busy streets.

Day 2: 11:30 am

Reserving seats with the GoNashville app ensures stress free boarding during peak travel times.

Lisa's Aunt Maria lives in Nashville. And today, the couple plans to meet her at Radnor Lake State Park. Traveling during a peak travel time is stress free with the GoNashville app. For a small additional fee on they use it to reserve seats on the #7 bus. Once on the bus, they find their faces displayed on their head rests.

As they ride, they notice this is a bus like no other. It doesn't feel public, or cold. The interior smells fresh due to the green wall filtration. This is cutting edge technology that naturally filters out impurities while contributing to the riders' mental health and well-being.

The windows are different too. They're embedded with AR technology, to show passengers points of interest. Whether local landmarks or cleverly curated small business advertisements, Nashville clearly enables their community for future success.

Lisa and Tony see a few people converting their windows into an interactive map of Nashville using voice and touch movements. The map can search for locations, and shows the movement of transit in real time.

Meanwhile in Brentwood, Aunt Maria is headed to Radnor State Park to meet up with Lisa and Tony. She opens her GoNashville app to book a seat on the Number 12 bus to the park. Her app profile knows she uses a wheelchair, and reserves an accessible space just for her.

Aunt Maria switches her wheelchair to autopilot. Paired with the app, she is autonomously taken to her bus stop. The bus stop's display shows her that the bus is coming closer. Then, when it arrives, her wheelchair automatically boards and parks in her reserved space. On board, she decides to use GoNashville to share her ETA with Lisa and Tony to give them some peace of mind.

Day 2: 12:00 pm

Mobile stations use traffic analytics to bring needed transit to the right place at the right time.

Lisa, Tony, and Aunt Maria's buses arrive at the mobile bus station at the park around the same time. Aunt Maria smiles as she realizes where they are - the bus stop itself is a mobile and uses AI to travel to precise locations around the city based on predicted demand. Today, there are more people than usual in the park looking to casually hike.

Day 23:00 pm

After a few hours with Aunt Maria, Lisa and Tony say goodbye and check their itinerary for what's next. As first timers in the south, they want to take in some local flavors - literally - with a moonshine tasting and distillery tour at the Smith Creek Moonshine Distillery at Opry Mills. Using their app, Tony and Lisa easily hop back on a bus to Riverfront Station.

Day 2: 3:30 pm

From touch to smell to sound, all of Tony and Lisa's senses tell them, "This is Nashville!"

Once again at Riverfront Station, the main hub for all city and regional transit, Tony and Lisa are reminded by how it celebrates everything that is Nashville, from the music of local buskers echoing throughout the corridors to the smell of amazing southern BBQ.

From Riverfront station, the GoNashville app instructs Tony and Lisa to take the Music City Star commuter train to Donelson Station, the nearest station to the distillery.

Day 2: 4:00 pm

On the platform, holograms of popular public figures share the latest buzz about the city while merchants sell refreshing snacks and travel accessories in the background.

Lisa and Tony are struck by Nashville's public transit spaces. They are designed as community gathering places full of life and commerce. This planned dual use provides a broader tax base for these large infrastructure projects. Boarding the train feels like a scene from a sci-fi movie. Sensors along the arch of the train's doors verify Tony and Lisa's payment as soon as they step onto the train.

Lisa and Tony choose business class seats for this trip for the added comfort and reclining seats.

Lit arrows automatically appear on the floor to guide them to their assigned seats. And, like yesterday's bus, the air on the fully-electric trains is crisp and clean. They settle in to enjoy a relaxing journey. Lisa and Tony see another commuter cross the aisle and wave his phone at a tinted door. It's the train's phone booth for business commuters - a small section closed off by plexiglass and outfitted with an ergonomic seat, desks, and dedicated wifi.

They chat about how delightful it is that Nashville has provided these much needed spaces to riders on long commutes. Every little detail is well considered and must bring a sense of pride to the locals. Lisa wants to live an a city that is so focused on the future and the happiness of its population.

Day 2: 4:45 pm

As they disembark the train, they notice digital murals that honor influential local residents. They're touched at how Nashville's public transit is dedicated to showcasing the people of its community.

Outside the Donelson Station, Tony and Lisa use the GoNashville app to hop onto electric bikes. They head towards Opry Mills, winding through parks and rivers for 1.5 miles. Nashville's city planners have created this and several other special bike routes to increase connectivity from suburban districts to transit hubs.

Day 2: 7:30 pm

After the distillery tour and tasting, Lisa and Tony take an EAV back to Donelson Station.

Once outside the station, Lisa spots a pop-up of one of Nashville’s newest barbecue spots right across the street. Visitors and locals alike have grown accustomed to experimental restaurants, art exhibits, and shops popping up around Nashville's popular train stations.

Hungry, Lisa and Tony stop for.a quick dinner.

Day 2: 9:30 pm

Lisa and Tony re-enter Donelson Station to make their way back to downtown Nashville.

Tony checks his app for the next scheduled train only to remember that trains come every three minutes during rush hour and 5 minutes the rest of the day. He marvels at how incredibly convenient this is, and is thrilled when his train arrives within two minutes.

Live stream entertainment in the train aligns with Nashville's popular nightlife culture while encouraging safe, efficient travel.

Lisa and Tony hop on the Music City Star, only to notice that the central commuter section of the train has been transformed into a party area. The windows show a live stream of a musician playing at a downtown Nashville venue while music plays from unseen speakers and lights dance throughout the car. From chatting with a few locals, they learn that the city has created this safe and convenient way for folks to get downtown to Nashville's party scene. Tony and Lisa spend their last night in Nashville happily dancing on the train on their way back to their hotel. What a great way to end the night!

Day 3: 11:25 am

It’s Tony and Lisa’s last day in Nashville. They have plans to catch a Tennessee Titans game. It’s a must-do! The couple checks out of the Hermitage Hotel, and leave their luggage behind to meet them after the game. They walk to the restaurant in Riverfront Station for breakfast. As they eat, they look out across the river to Nissan Stadium on the other side, eagerly anticipating the day's game.

Day 3: 12:30 pm

Tony and Lisa open the GoNashville app to explore how to get to Nissan Stadium. Lisa is excited when she sees they can go directly across the river via water taxi - another part of Nashville's seamless transit network. Tony reminds her of his acute sea sickness. They decide to walk across the pedestrian bridge to the stadium so Lisa can still enjoy the view of the city's downtown skyline from the river.

Day 3: 4:30 pm

Wow! Titans win!

After the game, the private EAV Lisa and Tony requested with the app is conveniently waiting for them at the passenger pick up spot right outside of the stadium’s gates. On its way to meet them, the AV stopped by the hotel to pick up their luggage. This is a service that the Hermitage Hotel uses to bring greater value to its clientele. The couple is ready to Hyperloop home.

Day 3: 6:00 pm

Even with deep roots in its heritage, Nashville has its eye on the future.

Lisa and Tony's trip to Nashville comes to an end. As they head home, they reflect on how fun their trip was. It was convenient, relaxing and in no small part future focused. They can't wait to tell their friends about how pleasant it is to get around Music City.

Wondering about Nonfiction's process and how we got here?

It takes a team of dedicated designers, strategists, and customer experience professionals with deep roots in trans design to rethink public transportation. Many thanks to Nashville for providing such an inspiring city to craft our vision around.

Download our Manifesto on the Future of Human Travel.

We at Nonfiction are focused on designing for a better future. Smart cities will lead the way to a future that is built on equality and sustainability. One that is centered around the well-being of residents, and fosters pleasure in their daily lives. To reach the full potential of future cities, we need a mobility system that empowers people to interact with all aspects of their urban environment.

To show what this future might look like, we follow Lisa and Tony as they journey through the Nashville of tomorrow.

Lisa and Tony are Hyperlooping from Washington DC for an extended weekend to celebrate Tony's birthday in style. They will use Nashville's smart systems to navigate the city seamlessly, from the revitalized transit center to the many iconic places including their very own home base for the weekend – the luxurious Hermitage Hotel.

Day 1: 1:00 pm

The GoNashville app – a gateway to planning a seamless and exciting weekend away.  

The Hermitage Hotel cleverly added a link to the GoNashville app in confirmation email. This helps their visitors with events, intuitive planning and mobility about the city. Tony and Lisa use the app's AR wayfinding feature to guide them to their reserved seats on the Hyperloop. By answering a few questions, the AI quickly learns their preferences and makes tailored recommendations. In no time, Tony and Lisa have an itinerary that the app will use to find the best transportation options, tickets, and reservations throughout their Nashville weekend.

Day 1: 4:30 pm

Lisa and Tony arrive via Hyperloop to a revisioned Transit Station – a central hub for the city's  connected community.

Tony and Lisa step off the Hyperloop to notice an open and inviting scene laden with wooden accents reminiscent of the Nashville they've seen in pictures. People wait for trains around the tree-like columns as displays of local city representatives welcome tourists to Music City.

Outside the station, Tony and Lisa marvel at the architecture. Its modern envelope fits the growing transit needs of Nashville, while preserving the historic legacy underneath. The plaza outside is alive with the sounds of Music City, the smells of local foods trucks, and the vibrant nature of people bustling around. Hungry, they make their way towards the food trucks.

Presented with a variety of food truck options, Lisa and Tony choose Nashville's legendary Prince's Hot Chicken Shack to kick things off. With food in hand, they follow the sounds of local live music to the river below. The area is designed for group events with plenty of seating. The couple sits down for lunch, delighted with the sweeping panoramic views of the Cumberland River and the sounds of local music.

Day 1 : 5:30 pm

Plan, Pay and Go on the GoNashville app makes getting to their hotel as easy as Chess pie.

Because the app is connected to all mobility options, it allows them to simply plan, pay, and go - from the first mile to the last - according to her needs.

Day 1: 9:00 pm

After a quick refresh at the hotel, Lisa and Tony are ready to go into the thick of things. They decide on checking out The Second Fiddle on Nashville's famous downtown Music Row. The quick nav on the GoNashville app shares their options for getting there. They can walk for eight minutes or ride electric scooters for three. They decide to ride to the bar for fun.

Day 2: 12:30 am

Tony and Lisa's private AEV is the perfect end to a fun evening.

The Second Fiddle doesn't disappoint. After some drinks and dancing, Tony and Lisa decide to call it a night. It is late, and they prefer to get a ride back to the hotel. Opening up his GoNashville app, Tony requests a private vehicle to take them to their hotel.  The autonomous electric vehicle (AEV) arrives promptly. Using analytics it avoids congestion and fosters greater customer satisfaction. The color code in the app syncs with lights on the AEV, making it easy to find on busy streets.

Day 2: 11:30 am

Reserving seats with the GoNashville app ensures stress free boarding during peak travel times.

Lisa's Aunt Maria lives in Nashville. And today, the couple plans to meet her at Radnor Lake State Park. Traveling during a peak travel time is stress free with the GoNashville app. For a small additional fee on they use it to reserve seats on the #7 bus. Once on the bus, they find their faces displayed on their head rests.

As they ride, they notice this is a bus like no other. It doesn't feel public, or cold. The interior smells fresh due to the green wall filtration. This is cutting edge technology that naturally filters out impurities while contributing to the riders' mental health and well-being.

The windows are different too. They're embedded with AR technology, to show passengers points of interest. Whether local landmarks or cleverly curated small business advertisements, Nashville clearly enables their community for future success.

Lisa and Tony see a few people converting their windows into an interactive map of Nashville using voice and touch movements. The map can search for locations, and shows the movement of transit in real time.

Meanwhile in Brentwood, Aunt Maria is headed to Radnor State Park to meet up with Lisa and Tony. She opens her GoNashville app to book a seat on the Number 12 bus to the park. Her app profile knows she uses a wheelchair, and reserves an accessible space just for her.

Aunt Maria switches her wheelchair to autopilot. Paired with the app, she is autonomously taken to her bus stop. The bus stop's display shows her that the bus is coming closer. Then, when it arrives, her wheelchair automatically boards and parks in her reserved space. On board, she decides to use GoNashville to share her ETA with Lisa and Tony to give them some peace of mind.

Day 2: 12:00 pm

Mobile stations use traffic analytics to bring needed transit to the right place at the right time.

Lisa, Tony, and Aunt Maria's buses arrive at the mobile bus station at the park around the same time. Aunt Maria smiles as she realizes where they are - the bus stop itself is a mobile and uses AI to travel to precise locations around the city based on predicted demand. Today, there are more people than usual in the park looking to casually hike.

Day 23:00 pm

After a few hours with Aunt Maria, Lisa and Tony say goodbye and check their itinerary for what's next. As first timers in the south, they want to take in some local flavors - literally - with a moonshine tasting and distillery tour at the Smith Creek Moonshine Distillery at Opry Mills. Using their app, Tony and Lisa easily hop back on a bus to Riverfront Station.

Day 2: 3:30 pm

From touch to smell to sound, all of Tony and Lisa's senses tell them, "This is Nashville!"

Once again at Riverfront Station, the main hub for all city and regional transit, Tony and Lisa are reminded by how it celebrates everything that is Nashville, from the music of local buskers echoing throughout the corridors to the smell of amazing southern BBQ.

From Riverfront station, the GoNashville app instructs Tony and Lisa to take the Music City Star commuter train to Donelson Station, the nearest station to the distillery.

Day 2: 4:00 pm

On the platform, holograms of popular public figures share the latest buzz about the city while merchants sell refreshing snacks and travel accessories in the background.

Lisa and Tony are struck by Nashville's public transit spaces. They are designed as community gathering places full of life and commerce. This planned dual use provides a broader tax base for these large infrastructure projects. Boarding the train feels like a scene from a sci-fi movie. Sensors along the arch of the train's doors verify Tony and Lisa's payment as soon as they step onto the train.

Lisa and Tony choose business class seats for this trip for the added comfort and reclining seats.

Lit arrows automatically appear on the floor to guide them to their assigned seats. And, like yesterday's bus, the air on the fully-electric trains is crisp and clean. They settle in to enjoy a relaxing journey. Lisa and Tony see another commuter cross the aisle and wave his phone at a tinted door. It's the train's phone booth for business commuters - a small section closed off by plexiglass and outfitted with an ergonomic seat, desks, and dedicated wifi.

They chat about how delightful it is that Nashville has provided these much needed spaces to riders on long commutes. Every little detail is well considered and must bring a sense of pride to the locals. Lisa wants to live an a city that is so focused on the future and the happiness of its population.

Day 2: 4:45 pm

As they disembark the train, they notice digital murals that honor influential local residents. They're touched at how Nashville's public transit is dedicated to showcasing the people of its community.

Outside the Donelson Station, Tony and Lisa use the GoNashville app to hop onto electric bikes. They head towards Opry Mills, winding through parks and rivers for 1.5 miles. Nashville's city planners have created this and several other special bike routes to increase connectivity from suburban districts to transit hubs.

Day 2: 7:30 pm

After the distillery tour and tasting, Lisa and Tony take an EAV back to Donelson Station.

Once outside the station, Lisa spots a pop-up of one of Nashville’s newest barbecue spots right across the street. Visitors and locals alike have grown accustomed to experimental restaurants, art exhibits, and shops popping up around Nashville's popular train stations.

Hungry, Lisa and Tony stop for.a quick dinner.

Day 2: 9:30 pm

Lisa and Tony re-enter Donelson Station to make their way back to downtown Nashville.

Tony checks his app for the next scheduled train only to remember that trains come every three minutes during rush hour and 5 minutes the rest of the day. He marvels at how incredibly convenient this is, and is thrilled when his train arrives within two minutes.

Live stream entertainment in the train aligns with Nashville's popular nightlife culture while encouraging safe, efficient travel.

Lisa and Tony hop on the Music City Star, only to notice that the central commuter section of the train has been transformed into a party area. The windows show a live stream of a musician playing at a downtown Nashville venue while music plays from unseen speakers and lights dance throughout the car. From chatting with a few locals, they learn that the city has created this safe and convenient way for folks to get downtown to Nashville's party scene. Tony and Lisa spend their last night in Nashville happily dancing on the train on their way back to their hotel. What a great way to end the night!

Day 3: 11:25 am

It’s Tony and Lisa’s last day in Nashville. They have plans to catch a Tennessee Titans game. It’s a must-do! The couple checks out of the Hermitage Hotel, and leave their luggage behind to meet them after the game. They walk to the restaurant in Riverfront Station for breakfast. As they eat, they look out across the river to Nissan Stadium on the other side, eagerly anticipating the day's game.

Day 3: 12:30 pm

Tony and Lisa open the GoNashville app to explore how to get to Nissan Stadium. Lisa is excited when she sees they can go directly across the river via water taxi - another part of Nashville's seamless transit network. Tony reminds her of his acute sea sickness. They decide to walk across the pedestrian bridge to the stadium so Lisa can still enjoy the view of the city's downtown skyline from the river.

Day 3: 4:30 pm

Wow! Titans win!

After the game, the private EAV Lisa and Tony requested with the app is conveniently waiting for them at the passenger pick up spot right outside of the stadium’s gates. On its way to meet them, the AV stopped by the hotel to pick up their luggage. This is a service that the Hermitage Hotel uses to bring greater value to its clientele. The couple is ready to Hyperloop home.

Day 3: 6:00 pm

Even with deep roots in its heritage, Nashville has its eye on the future.

Lisa and Tony's trip to Nashville comes to an end. As they head home, they reflect on how fun their trip was. It was convenient, relaxing and in no small part future focused. They can't wait to tell their friends about how pleasant it is to get around Music City.

Wondering about Nonfiction's process and how we got here?

It takes a team of dedicated designers, strategists, and customer experience professionals with deep roots in trans design to rethink public transportation. Many thanks to Nashville for providing such an inspiring city to craft our vision around.

Download our Manifesto on the Future of Human Travel.

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