UX for Autonomous Cars

Designing the experience of self-driving cars.

Autonomous cars have been tested on public roads for a couple of years now by companies like Google and Volvo. Perhaps you have seen one drive by. There is even a self-driving taxi service in Singapore. These cars of the future are being designed today. This also includes the way the interior interface interacts with the occupants.

The UI/UX design playing field is vaster, now that there is no need for a driver to keep their full attention on the road. Designing an interface that supports the driver’s relationship with their vehicle is utmost important. The key here is to look at the journey as a whole, the experience should make the occupants feel connected with their car and not irritated.

Designers should look at the vehicle as being a partner, where it actively plays the role of one by being there for the driver when needed and let you alone when you don’t. This in combination with Artificial Intelligence will bring the car to life.

The way car designers generally work is by starting with the exterior, before starting with the interior followed by integrating color and material. Finally, human-machine interface (dashboards, screens and gauges) are added. Nowadays people are coming to value experiences over objects and this outside in approach seems to be incorrect. The speed in which technology advancing is resetting what people expect from their cars.

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