The days of manual car driving are numbered. And many people believe we won't even own cars in the future. Uber is ordering 100000 self-driving cars from Mercedes to provide an on-demand autonomous car service. Even BMW is planning to start an “Airbnb for cars” business. Our latest lab project at UX studio was about self-driving cars too. In our new video you can taste the experience of an Uber-like autonomous car service.
You will be able to request a self-driving car with a tap on your phone and it will arrive in a few minutes. You don’t have to clean, maintain or repair your car anymore, these services will take care of all the boring tasks. Cities will be the big winners of the car revolution. With electric vehicles, air and noise pollution will disappear. We won’t have to park the cars all day long, so we get a lot of place back. Imagine if we could plant a tree in every parking place in the city.
We will be able to control the car with taps, but in most cases we will use voice control to tell our destination. Cars can be the first electronic devices where voice will be the most convenient control. Although, we will still need a screen where we can check things quickly. Humans are asynchronous creatures. Our best output is voice but visually we can process information faster. Many people imagine the future of cars with many displays, like in an episode of Pimp my ride, while others believe there will be no displays at all. Regardless of the number of screens, we think there will be one display in the middle, which will show the status of the car continuously. It will be a fix point to check things and it will give you the sense of security. Let’s see how can you set your destination here.
Although self-driving cars are safer than human drivers, trust is still a big issue. As some researchers pointed out, we trust a car if we know that it’s aware of its surrounding environment. In our design we display the schematic view of all the other cars and pedestrians around us. A red line also appears next to the objects needing special attention, like bikers and people crossing the road.
At UX studio we test every design we create with real people, and iterate on ideas until we find a solution that works well. We did the same here and you can find the results of our experiments about this trust issue in our new blog post.
And what will we do while the car takes us to our destination? You can watch the new episode of your favourite TV show, visit sights with the built-in guide or just darken the windows and enjoy the relax mode. Texting is not a problem anymore of course. Good news for workaholics too: you will have more time to check your emails or prepare those presentations.
All these innovations will make transportation safer, and give us more free time, but won’t solve the biggest problems of cities: we don’t have enough space. As Elon Musk pointed out, in high-density urban areas we will need more efficient transportation methods. The idea is to have small autonomous buses, that can pick you up and bring to your destination. We will need sophisticated algorithms to group people who go to the same destination area and find the fastest way to bring them there.
You can read the second post of this searies about how to solve the trust issue of self-driving here.
You can see the whole design story with all the screens and many beautiful details on our Behance project. Don’t forget to appreciate it if you like what we did.