Browse Publications Technical Papers 2018-01-1318
2018-04-03

A User-Centered Design Exploration of Fully Autonomous Vehicles’ Passenger Compartments for At-Risk Populations 2018-01-1318

Autonomous vehicles have the potential to provide mobility to individuals who experience transportation disadvantages due to the inability to drive as a result of physical, cognitive or visual limitations/impairments as well as able-bodied individuals with no/limited desire to drive. Individuals who do not have easy access to transportation have social, academic, health, and career disadvantages in comparison to their peers. Fully autonomous vehicles have the potential to offer mobility solutions to these individuals.
A user-centered design approach was utilized by a multidisciplinary team of engineers, human factors specialists, and designers to develop future vehicle features for a broad range of users. In-depth interviews and day-in-the-life experiences provided the team with an understanding of the needs and constraints of very different types of users including:
  • a millennial with a visual impairment,
  • a professional in a major metropolitan area who does not want to drive yet needs to transport influential clients to meetings throughout the city,
  • a full-time working mom with 3 kids under the age of 12, and.
  • a designer who is a quadriplegic who lives as independently as possible while using a large motorized wheelchair.
User preferences, needs, and wants are discussed for each user. Future autonomous vehicles will have vastly different metrics for user satisfaction than what exists today.

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