The Psychological and Statistical Design Method for Co-Creation HMI Applications in the Chinese Automotive Market 2017-01-0650
The automotive industry is dramatically changing. Many automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) proposed new prototype models or concept vehicles to promote a green vehicle image. Non-traditional players bring many latest technologies in the Information Technology (IT) industry to the automotive industry. Typical vehicle’s characteristics became wider compared to those of vehicles a decade ago, and they include not only a driving range, mileage per gallon and acceleration rating, but also many features adopted in the IT industry, such as usability, connectivity, vehicle software upgrade capability and backward compatibility. Consumers expect the latest technology features in vehicles as they enjoy in using digital applications in laptops and mobile phones. These features create a huge challenge for a design of a new vehicle, especially for a human-machine-interface (HMI) system.
A typical New Product Introduction (NPI) cycle in the automotive industry may range between two and five years, but rapidly changing technologies in the IT industry may evolve into a next generation in just three to six months. The traditional design methodologies in the automotive industry usually require clear boundary conditions before a team can develop a device or system in a vehicle. The definition of boundary conditions is based on empirical data or market survey results. For example, Many OEMs utilize Quality Function Deployment (QFD) to transform customer needs into the design of engineering functions and detailed parameters. However, due to the intersection of the automotive industry and the IT industry, the boundary conditions for a human-machine-interface (HMI) system become unstable, and it is risky to design a HMI system based on the assumption that the boundary conditions will not change during a NPI cycle. With the fast growing autonomous technologies, a modern vehicle may have a totally different HMI system compared to that of traditional cars.
With more and more disruptive technologies are introduced in the automotive industry, customers’ voices also became blurring. Sometimes, the majority of customers do not know a future trend and whether they will like these changes. If a development team design a HMI system purely based on the history data or market surveys, the team may lose a foresight. This paper discusses a design method for a modern vehicle’s HMI system. A persona is introduced in the design process and co-creation is utilized to generate design options. A final solution is selected based on psychological and statistical analysis. A design case for the Chinese Automotive market is also elaborated in the paper as an example.