Forget about owning a car – the UX of future transportation

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.

mobiles

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.

car_interior_v2_black-01

Home V7

Voice V3 step2

Route

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.

During trip V2

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.

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Entertainment

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.

Presentazione standard di PowerPoint

You can read the second post of this searies about how to solve the trust issue of self-driving here.

In the following weeks we will publish more detailed articles about the use-cases and how to build trust. Don’t miss them, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

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.

Founder and CEO of UX studio. Author of the book Product Design, TEDx speaker, one of Forbes 30 under 30. Enthusiastic about self-managing teams, new technologies and human-centered design.
  • Dave Carr

    The young lady putting on make-up, did she ask for a no driver vehicle? Or have you and others assumed that she would rather have a software driver rather than drive them selves.

    • This video is a demonstration and she is an actress. We believe that many people will choose autonomous vehicles, not just young ladies.

  • Michael Blaser

    UX’ers often discuss the human/machine interactions of driverless taxis and buses, as well as the traffic safety of them. But one aspect of the user experience I haven’t seen addressed, and which I think is going to be a critical factor in the user experience, is the maintenance and cleanliness of those vehicles. I would think this would be a major factor in whether ride sharing is embraced by the general population. A lot of people would likely avoid a service where, for instance, the previous user had just made a mess of the car by eating in it, spilling a drink, or smoking in it. Currently, a driver can police the activity inside the car to avoid things like that, but no such monitor is available on driverless vehicles. Additionally, safety inside the car is going to have to be addressed for the same reason. For instance, at night a woman may not feel safe riding in a shared bus or taxi if there is a single man on board, if there is no driver to monitor her.

  • Obviously not good for the people who are losing jobs, but better to do it on our own terms than because the industry has tanked.

  • Ramon Martinez

    Really love this piece, would love to connect with you guys on the work you’re doing, shoot me a message, thanks!

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