Autonomous vehicle visions

February 19 2015

from the people who gave us the scuba car sQuba :

What do you think of this car, this presentation, this lifestyle?
Is this your future? Is it ours? Whose future is this?

(and why did they mount a watch on the steering column?)
Extra points if you manage to match components to all sponsors/participants.

February 20 2015

I’m so very tired of these videos…. They say that its natural but nothing in this video is natural. Its almost like a propaganda movie for technical excellence for the parties involved. Where is the human in this movie?

I am so surprised so many parties worked on this and it baffles me that yes, although there is some very useful technology involved here (that isn’t even innovative – we can do this today), the technology here is in center not the user.

I’m going to help them with their next video: Storyboard: A family is out for a trip and since car drives automatically kids are NOT staring outside the window whilst driving like they have never seen a road before, but are snuggled down in their seats, have their feet on the window while playing their favorite game against their mother in the car.(since all cars are autonomous there is no risk of collisions so no need to sit in the car like at the dentists with a stick up your rear end like in the video.) Autonomy of the car enables the family to do things you could never do before. Father is preparing dinner by looking for a precipice for later on his personal device ( why would he use the fixed display at the dashboard? Then he still needs to sit close to the wheel which is not actually necessary) and even orders the groceries online to have it picked up at the closes pick-up point. Kids scream for McDonalds for lunch and even though mom and dad don’t want them to eat fast food, they give in and the family can order their favorite thing on the menu individually as it appears on the different screens. (Of course mom always cancels the flurry order the kids palce and replaces it with a fruit dessert) By placing the order system already tells them where the closest McDonald is and how long it will take to get there, including getting their food. McDonalds staff pick up on their order but can see that the family got stuck in traffic so they only start preparing the meals when they know it can be delivered warm and fresh. There are no NFC payment systems because the payment has already been made online (Why on EARTH would you make people pay by NFC when they can pay online, since they are ANYWAY making the order online. This is an excellent demonstration of not being user-centered but putting the coolness of the technology in focus. Useless. Why not just make an transaction when they confirm the coffee in the video? ) Because of heavy traffic the wont be able to get to the mini golf course they were planning to go to so the system offers some alternatives in the same category in the vicinity nearby or places with less busy roads. These option appear for each screen of the family members so they all could scroll through the options individually to make their pick. They can even vote on the destination so mom and dad don’t have to make the decision. Their new destination, an indoor sports center has an automatic valet system like many other places so the car takes them to the entrance where they hop out and enter the center while the car drives itself to the parking. Its so natural for them now that they don’t notice it, they are so focused on the ball-pool they already see from the outside looking through the window and dad has been dying take a smoke after the long trip. The kids have played and are now tired and sweaty. they want to go home fast. Dad signals to the car that they will be out soon and it starts moving to the exit to meet them. Everyone is tired and looking forward to go home. On their way back, the car informs them that the pick up point for their groceries is about 10 minutes away – dad had already forgot. As they get closer, the younger boy gets excited and says its my turn to push the button. The button is the call button that confirms their pick up (this so that the pick up point doesn’t automatically the groceries just because they are getting closer, they might have plans before ) This is always fun because you can see the pickup point lights changing color to their turquoise color that represents their order. This is always a fun and they take turns doing it. The kids jump out and put the stuff in the trunk, parents are happy they find it an fun activity because then they don’t have to do it. They have about 2 hours to home and as the kids fall asleep, the system asks to confirm if they are heading home and dad selects yes (or uses voice confirmation). This is all the system needs to start up the heating at the house. it takes about 2 hours to get it to their wished temperature and the car knows how far they are away. 15 minutes left and dad decided to preheat the oven because he hates waiting for it and his preparation goes lightning fast. The garage is slightly further away from the entrance door so they all hop out there and let the car drive into the garage where it recharges itself automatically. Since the system syncs all devices , their trip data with map and all the pictures and videos taken during that day are compiled and stored in their “memory album”. There is already 43 trips from different parts of the world because rental cars in Europe also allow them to log-in and record their trip and load there trip plans. The 44th trip adds to the album as “Trip with whole family to Happy Sportscenter, Saguenay, Quebec” They are collecting trips in the album and one day they would like to have a trip from Japan in there.

This is a narrative where people, the family, needs and passions are in the focus. Technology is an enabler and most of the time not even noticed. Technology enables the family to focus on the things that gives them the most value in life and that is what they are focusing on. Technology is intuitive and natural that it adapts to them, not the other way around.

There are many technologies and innovative ideas out there which are cool but there is still a big gap between the user, even for current technologies. Lets start making interaction design intuitive, natural and ideally invisible for our current technology instead of creating fancy bragging corporate videos where technological feat is in the spotlight whilst the user is a mere actor in this big performance of arrogance – this is not user/people centered design.

Venting complete…. phew

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