20 December 2012

Dan Saffer on how we *should* interact with the automobiles of the (near) future

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Smart Design’s Dan Saffer discusses on Fast Company on how we should interact with the automobiles of the (near) future:

“What will this feel like, riding in our new robot cars? If the experience of being a “driver” in our new cars isn’t designed well, it could feel like we’re trapped in a public taxi, surrounded by screens blaring at us. Robot car is a robot, after all, not human. But there is also another way it could be: like having our own private driver who knows our preferences, our daily routes, the right temperature settings, and how much control of the car we want. These cars will have a personality–although not too much personality–and they’ll know us and conform to us. Their sensors won’t just be trained on the roads and their mechanics; they’ll also be trained on us. They’ll observe us, get to know us, and adapt to us. Our robot cars will respond to being spoken to, and even to unspoken cues by not interrupting us when we’re busy or tired. They will be our moving exoskeletons, acknowledging and respecting our very humanity yet compensating for our limitations by having superpowers like 360-degree vision and the ability to parse traffic data. This is how carmakers will build brand loyalty. We will love our robot cars, and never dream of jet packs again.”

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