Punchcut Perspective on Autonomous Vehicle User Experience Featured in Automotive World Magazine

The Importance of Trust

Crucially, notes Punchcut, a San Francisco-based user experience design company, AVs turn the user experience from active to passive. The company says there are three things which are essential for societal acceptance of EVs: trust, comfort and control. Without trust, AVs are nothing. A recurring theme, the importance of people being able to trust AVs cannot be understated. Riders must trust that the vehicle is safe, that it knows the same things about the journey and immediate surroundings as they do, that they can communicate and interact fully with the vehicle and that it will make sensible decisions should the unexpected happen.

This means providing occupants the correct level of information and ensuring they know what the vehicle is doing, but stopping short of an information overload. As for comfort, it is essential to set expectations of AVs’ limitations and the way they behave, but also to ensure that AVs meet the users’ needs; people may currently be anticipating an AV user experience (UX) beyond their wildest dreams, but the reality could be something much more mundane. Those developing vehicles for shared, autonomous MaaS will also need to “prepare for a multiplayer experience”, advises Punchcut, with vehicles needing to be designed to cater for a wide range of people with myriad expectations and behaviours.

Expect, then, to see a focus on premium-feel interiors that are durable and easy to maintain, flexible seating configurations, and wide-reaching infotainment that is easily accessible and intuitive to use. Punchcut notes a gradual and necessary shift in UX design as automakers realise that simply adding an advanced screen for the driver is the UX of old, and that they need to think beyond the screen: the entire vehicle interior is the interface of tomorrow.

Excerpt from “How Will Autonomous Cars Change the User Experience”
by Editor-in-Chief Martin Kahl, Automotive World

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