SoIN Mobile Visitor Center pictured at Big Four Station Park in Jeffersonville


SoIN Tourism’s Mobile Visitor Center is on the road again, this time with a magnitude of experiential upgrades, tricks and all the bells and whistles for a more accessible and enjoyable experience! This redesign is all thanks to an amazing team of students and future engineers at Purdue Polytechnic New Albany.

The Mobile Visitor Center (MVC) is designed to provide the best and most accurate information about Southern Indiana in a space outside our brick-and-mortar visitor center. When on the road, its software helps potential visitors plan a future trip. At local events, the MVC allows attendees (and locals) to build an itinerary specific to their interests, enhancing their experience in Southern Indiana.

Experience The Upgrades

User experience and accessibility were top priorities for the students when redesigning the MVC. Their goal was to create an inviting, open-air experience for visitors using the interactive displays. The students achieved this by designing a sliding door mechanism that allows the displays to be used outside of the vehicle rather than inside. This creates a much more approachable experience and allows the SoIN team to engage with more users at a time than the previous design. An external awning was attached to the vehicle to block the sun from obstructing the screens and keep users more comfortable in the shade. 

With this redesign, the students were also able to implement accessibility features that were previously not possible with the old design. The ability to access the displays from outside the vehicle opens the door to many visitors who would otherwise struggle to access the inside of the vehicle. The outside displays have also been paired with fully adjustable mounting points making it possible for those who are wheelchair-bound to adjust the displays to their desired height. This feature also means kiddos can now easily participate in the itinerary-building, too!

Emerging Engineering Talent in Southern Indiana

Students and future engineers Michael Barber, Chris Burke, John Hamann, Ethan Holder, Jimmy Weir and Mitchell Welch comprise the team behind this fantastic redesign. The efforts of these students can only be described as outstanding, greatly exceeding expectations. These students went beyond the guidelines for this project and showcased the impeccable skills and knowledge they learned throughout their tenure as students of Purdue Polytechnic. 

The team described the process as challenging but enjoyable. Time management and splitting the workload based on individual strengths were key when designing and constructing the final product. Student Mitchell Welch described the process as, “Stressful, but an enjoyable experience to apply my knowledge to a real-world application.” 

Purdue Polytechnic New Albany is a bastion of technological education in Southern Indiana. The state-of-the-art facility, Purdue Technology Center, stands as a testament to hands-on learning and industry-relevant education. Purdue Polytechnic is the home for technology advancement and engineering in Southern Indiana, providing multiple engineering and leadership degree programs.

Joseph Dues Jr., PE, Director of Purdue Polytechnic New Albany, said this is the exact kind of project the institution looks for when selecting student capstone projects. Partnering with local organizations that are facing technical problems gives the students opportunities to problem-solve and practice engineering beyond the classroom.

Catch the MVC on the Road

With all the upgrades and accessibility features, SoIN Tourism plans to use the MVC more than ever before. We hope that these features provide a more inclusive experience for all and encourage more users to engage with the MVC’s itinerary-building software.

You can interact with the SoIN Tourism team as we take our show on the road. Our Mobile Visitor Center makes stops at major events in SoIN and beyond to help deliver more information about our area’s attractions, businesses and events. Make sure to check out the new features the next time you spot the Mobile Visitor Center at events in SoIN and throughout the region.