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CAI Autonomous Driving Experience

MOBILITY EXPERIENCE | 2017 / 2020 latest ver.

What will autonomous family vehicles in 2025 be like? 

About

A 14-week group project where we redefined the autonomous car experience for a family road trip in 2025. It was accomplished with a team of four with a transportation designer, industrial designer, and AI specialist.

Date

2016 Summer
2020 Revised

Tool

Cinema 4D / Photoshop / Illustrator / After Effects / Sketch

My Contribution

User Experience Design
User Interface Design
Information Architect
Storytelling
Visual System
Motion Design

Special Thanks

Ming Tai, Elise Co, Calvin Ku, Will Thomas (Sound Designer), Sissel Tolaas (Contemporary Installation Artist), Dan Goods (JPL)

01. OVERVIEW

Building the autonomous vehicle experience from the ground up.

We designed, prototyped, and tested the vehicle interior and interactions to create not just the future of self-driving cars, but an intelligent companion that cares for its passengers. We see the next family car as a CarTaker. 

02. GOALS

Business Goal:

Conceptualize the next generation of family autonomous driving experience.

User Problem:

What do families need and want from an enclosed space for long road trips?
What do individuals need and want to satisfy mental and physical needs?

Cai

The conceptual vision of an autonomous vehicle experience for a family of four members.

Cai's Center Console

The center console of Cai is a series of modular rounded hexagons that can fulfill different functions. It is meant to take its place among the passengers to encourage interaction as a companion and not just the interface for a tool to drive.

01/01.

Transportation is not only about getting from A to B. It has evolved in recent years to involve emotion, trust, and experience. 

01/02. Research

The first mode of transportation - Past

Horse Riding & Interaction

We went to Goldspirit Farm to understand how riders and horses communicate with each other. This helped us think about fluent, potential interaction opportunities between an autonomous car, and the user.

01/03. Research

The fun of driving - Current

Moments while Driving

Our team sought out to understand the culture of driving, and how the view and road situation affects people's behaviors and emotions. Driving isn't only just about getting from point A to B.

01/04. Research

Experience Autonomous driving assistant - future trend

Autonomous Driving
Assistant System

By observing the driver using the Tesla Model S (2016) driverless mode, it's easy to tell that currently, it is still hard for people to fully trust a self-driving vehicle. Therefore, the interaction between driver and ADAS is more than just the act of driving. An emotional connection and trust with the system becomes more important than ever. 

01/05. Research

Human interaction with public transportation

Behavior on Public Transit

We boarded the Los Angeles Metro Light Rail system to observe people's behavior when they're not focused on driving and learned that passengers have to deal with:
1. Complex information on route maps
2. Awkward eye contact and weird attention from strangers
3. Unpleasant smells

01/06. Research

Amusement Park Attraction Rides

Attraction rides with storytelling

We ventured to Universal Studios to experience different haptic and kinetic sensations in relation to a sequence of stories and the feelings this experience evokes.

01/07. Tech & Market Landscape

Autonomous Driving Assistance System

ADAS Market & Tech Landscape

Level 0
No Automation

Manual control. The human performs all driving tasks.

This describes your everyday car.
No bells and whistles.

Level 1
Driver Assistance

This is the adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist to help with driving fatigue.

2018 Toyota Corolla
(Toyota Safety Sense1)
2018 Nissan Sentra
(Intelligent Cruise Control)

Level 2
Partial Automation

Although the driver must have hands on the wheel and be ready to take control at any given moment, level 2 automation can assist in controlling speed and steering.

Tesla Autopilot
Audi Traffic Jam Assist

Level 3
Conditional Automation

Be capable of driving themselves, but only under ideal conditions and with limitations, such as limited-access divided highways at a certain speed.

2019 Audi A8

Level 4
High Automation

L4 can drive themselves without human interactions (besides entering your destination) but will be restricted to known use cases.

Waymo

Level 5
Full Automation

Level 5 capable vehicles should be able to monitor and maneuver through all road conditions and require no human interventions whatsoever, eliminating the need for a steering wheel and pedals.

Autonomous Artificially intelligent Automobile

01/08. Metrics

Functional & Emotional Engagement Metrics

Cai is aiming to become the bridge between active engagement as an autonomous driving vehicle and emotional engagement as a caregiver.

02. CHALLENGES

01. Generative Research
02. User Research
03. Design Solutions

What’s the role of mobility in our life?

What does mobility actually mean to a family?

What will autonomous family vehicles in 2025 be like? 

02/01.

More than just about mobility, a family journey is about sensations, connections, and a space that gathers them together.

02/02

100 Million

Nearly 100 Million Americans Embarked on Family Vacations in 2019.

43%

Seeing and experiencing more together

41%

Spending quality family time with one another

02/03

However, family time spent together isn't complete without its downsides.
3Days

During 3 day weekend trips on Memorial Day or Labor Day, Americans will travel and on average have to deal with... 

19

bouts of hunger

16

“are we there yet”

18

“how much longer”

17

“I’m tired.”

02/04

It's about taking care of each family member and enhancing social interaction at the same time.

What if...
Mobility works as a space for memories, moments, and emotions with your family. 

02/05

The Family NEEDS...
in an autonomous driving experience within a road trip.

02/05

The Family WANTS...
in an autonomous driving experience within a road trip.

--> CHALLENGES

01. Generative Research
02. User Research
03. Design Solutions

What’s the role of mobility in our life?

What does mobility actually mean to a family?

What will autonomous family vehicles in 2025 be like? 

We have crafted the future car as another family member, someone that takes care of you and your family. We see the future family car as a CarTaker.

Cai System Diagram

Your mobile device is the key to Cai. It syncs passengers' physical and mental data. Please it on top of a CAI table to start the journey. 

Car Artificial Intelligence (Cai) syncs data from users' personal devices and makes decisions as the center console. 

Cai’s physical component and interface function as a center console and as another family member. The family has to surrender their devices to Cai, encouraging family interaction. 

Cai's hexagon based shapes create a modular system that allows its panels to build the multi-propose tables by attaching them.

Meanwhile, it picks up scents and sounds from around the environment and recreates them in the car next time for triggering a memory.

Cai, as a caretaker, addresses each family member's individual needs while enhancing family interaction as a whole.

CarTaker
+ Cai

Autonomous Car for Family Travel
+ Artificial Intelligence in CarTaker

Cai

The conceptual vision of an autonomous vehicle experience for a family of four members.

Cai's Center Console

The center console of Cai is a series of modular rounded hexagons that can fulfill different functions. It is meant to take its place among the passengers to encourage interaction as a companion and not just the interface for a tool to drive.

Cai's Involvement

The users could access and control the percentage of involvement they want Cai to have in their experience.

Behind the Screen

Cai is an artificial intelligence embedded in the autonomous car. Cai utilizes physiological and mental report data to read individual wellbeing profiles.

Cai

Cai is physically designed around the shape of rounded hexagon and takes spaces in the center of the car so as to denote a space as the new member. Hexagon shape also creates a modular system that achieve different user goals, such as dinning together, individual working needs, and regular mode.

Cai & Panels Arrangements

After synthesizing the family's needs and behaviors, we created three modes: Regular Mode, Family Dinning Mode, Individual Mode. By moving and installing Cai's panels, this modular, hexagonal surface can form a large family table, or be used as a smaller, individual platform.

Behavior Colors

Colors that indicates action

Mood Colors

Colors that reflect mood for adaptive computing

Cai Spatial Prototype

We used acrylic and foam to build an actual space for prototyping Cai.
To test our interior mockup, we invited a real family to come under the premise of taking a long family road trip. 

Cai Prototype

By creating the actual space, we are able to observe people's behaviors and exceptions in the area.

Landscape+ UI Prototype

We used 2 projectors to simulate the realistic road view with UI prototyping.

UI-Prototype
(old version)

Family Behaviors Observation

We invited a family to come to our project to experience the interior mockup that we built.

Family Gathering Moment

Individual working mode

Seating has the mute mode to help passengers enjoy quiet situations when they need it.

Information Architecture

Three main consolers information architecture: Side window, front window, and main consoler.

Next Steps

1. Develop metrics for measuring success

Develop metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of Cai in facilitating trust. We need to think about how to measure trust between humans and AI. We need to think about how to measure trust between humans and AI to help us improve the product and facilitate greater trust. 

2. Build a clay model or AR mockups for further testing.

We need to increase the fidelity of our prototypes in order to test and improve designs and concepts. Next, we'd like to create and evaluate high-fidelity, physical models or an AR prototype.

3. Create Cai's urban eco-system

Conceptualize a Cai to Cai city-scale ecosystem where a connected system facilitates communication between Cais to share public social information, and ensure safe coordination on the road.

4. Explore Roadmap for the autonomous driving experience

Explore the roadmap for future autonomous driving-related products, such as charging stations, IOT system with home and workplaces, public transportation involved system

Reflection

1. Defining the future through responsible design

It was an important project for me to think about design for the future. Most of the time, when we talk about using design techniques to solve problems, we imply "current" situations. However, I would like to use design skills, research, and imagination to conceptualize future matters. It requires the understanding of core motivations behind user behaviors, envisioning the future trend, and respecting technology development. Although we came up with this project in 2016, it is still very fresh now in 2021.

2. Embracing ambiguity, Communication is everything

Communication is the key to working with design specialists with different backgrounds. For me, communication is for transparent dialogues and honest feedback and about keeping the team's vibe, encouraging teammates to speak out if they have any unclear points. I learned that we should treat ambiguity as a new opportunity rather than a risk.

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