Using human-centered design to unlock people’s desired futures for Fiat Chrysler Automotive’s (FCA) autonomous vehicles.
Explore the possibilities of the autonomous cars as a third space beteween home and work. Define a concept for the future of FCA autonomous vehicle’s user expereince.
Ethan Ye – UX Design & Research
Alex Palatucci - FCA Designer
Lei Zhang - FCA Design Manager
Cindy Juette - FCA Interior Designer
Wayne Chung - Proffessor
A concept for autonomous cars as a social space. An exhaustive exploration of futures by particapatory design methods. New research methods for FCA’s UX team.
UX Design & Research
Storyboarding & Video
How do the different product systems and their brands affect the overall user experiences and expectations of people?
What new analog and digital surfaces, materials, and devices populate these spaces?
Talking with someone in their car is like talking with them in their home. The car is a highly costumized and personal space that shows the owner’s personality. This may pose some barrier to trasnsitioning from an ownership model to a shared model.
To get the project grounded fast, I approached 5 people randomly in the parking lot to take a picture of their car interior with the general question of “What is their favorite memory of being in a car, and why is their car the way it is?” Most people responded by an anedote of an important conversation they’ve shared in the car. We decided to focus on how the car space can act as social third space, and conducted an in-depth interview five additional additional participants while they’re driving or riding in the own vehicle.
People feel most “connected” when they’re collaborating or exchanging information both proffessional and personal. Routine tasks alone are when people feel least connected to others, but most connected to themselves.
We ask participants to map out their activities in a timeline, rate connectivity level and provide explanations. To better understand when do participants feel most “connected”, the wording is intentionaly vague as to better undesetand what people think feeling connected means. Does it mean connected to oneself, to one’s family, or one’s environment?
There’s a limit to what we can learn from observing people saying and doing. By creating a tool-kit that enables people to make with us, we can empathize and create a deeper shared understanding of their vision.
We invited participants to design a moving space and its environment with foam core car and wooden blocks. Participant were ask to think out loud during their design process and describe the space they designed after they finish by “vlogging” about it. Lastly, particpants were asked to to take a picture of their concept that best represents it and give it a name.
Through out the whole project and even during research we generated concepts. Sometimes when asked to imagined, participants simply re-created an existing concept they've seen elsewhere. We refined their visions into storyboards to crystalize our understanding as well as to push the boundaries of their imagination.
We evlauated the concept by asking our participants to think aloud while sorting the storyboards in order of their preferences. Afterwards, we quantitatively and qualitatively assess each concept based on their controversialness. And lastly, with close consultation with our client we deicded to select concepts that would require us to a take genuine risk as to not repeat already existing concepts by IDEO or Ikea.
Take exploratory risks. From IDEO to Ikea, there are a million autonomous vehicle concepts. With close consultation with the client, we decided to take a risk and explore novel concepts we haven’t yet seen.
Habbits are difficult to break, but easier to evolve. During the down time of most commute, people are using this time to connect and catch-up via social media. Though social media can helps us connect with people anywhere on Earth, rarely is it used to heighten one’s connection with one’s locality. In an effort to help people better connect with their city, we’re evolving people’s habbit by transforming the autonomous ride into a local feed.
In order to communicate our concept, we prototyped in the supporting interactions. Our interaction is based loosely on the current UI of the main screens of Tesla cars.