I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart.

Volvo GUS - Construction Equipment

HMI Design

Pasadena, 2023

My Role




UX Research
Chenzhuoer Liang
13 Weeks
UI/UX Design
Jiaqi Yi
Jan - Apr 2023
User Testing
Taizhi Guan


GUS is a revolutionary new way of construction equipment technology that will transform the industry. Its customization features and diverse capabilities empower workers to take ownership of their working environment and achieve new levels of Comfort, Convenience, and Efficiency.

Problem Statement

How do we effectively engage the next generation using Volvo OS, while also integrating AR technology to create a tailored and efficient working system?


Who are we targeting? After interviewing and visiting on-site workers ( site manager & operators), we identified three distinct persona categories for wheel loader operators, each representing unique pain points.

Design Objectives


· Retractable steering wheel
· Adaptable expansion chair

· Cab Door
· Cab Extension
· Extra Storage space

· Load Assistant
· Communication System
· Site Planning

The Next Generation CAB

We employ practical scenarios to showcase the functionality of our new features in a future wheel loader cab. These enhancements not only streamline communication but also boost work efficiency by leveraging cutting-edge technologies and tailored personal features.


Our cab is comprised of two integral components: the physical structure and the advanced digital Volvo OS. These two elements seamlessly interact to optimize the workflow efficiency. Moreover, a vast array of customization options ensures that every operator's needs are met, paving the way for endless possibilities.

The Physical Structure

The physical cab is designed to offer operators a comprehensive workspace. From our interviews, we learned that operators typically spend over 8 hours inside the cab, utilizing it not just for work, but also as a space to relax and eat. Essentially, this cab serves as their office, akin to any other professional setting. With Volvo Gus, our goal is to give them a space that feels uniquely theirs – a private environment they can genuinely identify with. Operators voiced frustrations regarding the door mechanism, which our observations confirmed. The trajectory of the door's swing frequently obstructs their view, posing a notable hindrance.

The Digital Volvo OS

Beyond the aforementioned aspects, we place a strong emphasis on amplifying the productivity of the wheel loader. This initiative is embodied in our Volvo Gus OS. Primarily, this system facilitates streamlined communication between the construction site manager and the operator.

How It Works

At the Site Manager's End

From our fieldwork and discussions, we noted that the site manager frequently traverses the site, regardless of adverse weather conditions, and relies solely on a single walkie-talkie for communication with the team. In response, I've conceptualized an enhanced communication method to boost efficiency while minimizing the need for on-site exposure to potentially harsh conditions for both managers and operators.

Check-in: Construction Progress

It integrates features facilitating real-time check-ins on construction progress, enabling site managers to effectively track milestones, ongoing tasks, and potential delays. With intuitive interfaces, visual aids, and robust communication channels, the OS streamlines workflow, enhances safety protocols, and fosters collaboration among team members.

Assign Jobs: Incorporating a New Task

It not only facilitates visual area assignments and task categorization but also boasts an autofill feature that intelligently predicts and suggests task allocations based on past data and worker expertise. With real-time efficiency metrics and the capability to swiftly identify standby operators, this OS is the epitome of streamlined construction operations.

Emergency: Checking the Details

With a focus on wheel loader operations, this OS enables operators to immediately send photos of emergencies, ensuring that project managers can remotely troubleshoot issues at the onset. Beyond just images, the system also provides real-time details of the wheel loader and its operator, facilitating a comprehensive understanding of the situation. This immediate visual check-in feature bypasses the traditional communication lag, allowing managers to decide whether to delve deeper into the details or directly call the operator, thereby optimizing response times and ensuring site safety.

At the Operator's End

Upon receiving the day's tasks, the AI seamlessly creates an optimized schedule for the operator. A monitor, strategically positioned on the A-post, serves as an infotainment dashboard. This interface not only displays the day's agenda but also allows the operator to tweak seat adjustments, fine-tune the audio environment, select music, and more, setting the tone for a productive day ahead.

Default Screen
Recieved New Task

While in operation, the cab's windshield boasts a heads-up display (HUD) that projects crucial details such as the targeted work pile and the bucket's angle. Assisted by AI, it also computes the estimated completion time and suggests the most efficient approach for operators, ensuring optimum productivity and precision on the job ( Background pictures by Skybox Lab).

HUD: Driving Assistance
HUD: Working Assistance
The Volvo GUS Dashboard

An off-road alert system in a wheel loader is designed to ensure operational safety by providing immediate warnings when navigating challenging terrain. Using sensors and cameras, it detects unstable ground, steep inclines, and potential obstacles, alerting the operator via dashboard notifications to prevent accidents and improve handling in rugged environments.

Dashboard: Driving Assistance
Dashboard: Off-Road Alert

My Volvo Team

Our team with the Volvo prototypes during the final presentation.
The tangible Volvo GUS model is showcased in the Volvo Group's office.

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