MOBILITY NANO LAB:
DLX × BZL

AN EXPLOARATION OF HVI (HUMAN-VEHICLE INTERACTION) IN PUBLIC AUTONOMOUS
BUS TRANSPORTATION

Designing Future Mobility

NEW REALITY, NEW CHALLENGES

Preparing for the Future

The transition to autonomous transportation is introducing new forms of interaction and communication.

Addressing these new conditions requires a fresh outlook. We must question the existing paradigms to pursue a more human-centered approach in our research.

Design can provide an alternative to the current dialogue around autonomous vehicles, which is dominated by engineering and science. Many of the field's challenges relate to human behavior and emotions that can and should be addressed by design-driven approaches.

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THE CHALLENGE

How can
we build a sense of trust with a public vehicle that has no driver?

OUR MISSION

Conceptualize new forms of communication which are effective,
human-centered, and universal

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>> Creating a sense of acknowledgement of the passenger's presence
 
>> Choosing materials and textiles that are biology and nature-inspired for a
less alienating atmosphere

 
>> Providing passengers with personalized & relevant information on their itinerary
 
>> Creating a dialogue between the passenger and the bus
 
>> Compensating for the lack of onboard authority by creating a stronger sense
of community
between the passengers

Compensating for the driver's absence

Our mission

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What if..

THE VEHICLE ITSELF
COULD TAKE AN ACTIVE PART IN THE CONVERSATION WITH THE PASSENGERS?

Non-verbal communication conveys nuances that are insightful and imbued with meaning. 
Non-verbal signals have the power to indicate a person’s intent and emotional state without saying a word.

BODY LANGUAGE IS CRUCIAL FOR COMMUNICATION BETWEEN HUMANS.

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70% OF THE INFORMATION
IN CONVERSATIONS
BETWEEN HUMANS IS DELIVERED VIA GESTURES

Booking

1

Each journey starts with an intention. A designated app will provide the potential passenger with the route, location, schedule and payment details.

For those without the app, interfaces on the bus will provide similar information and interaction.

 

The cityscape is changing, inviting new interactions between humans and vehicles.
Design's holistic outlook makes it ideally suited to contribute to the user's experience.
We envision forms of driverless transportation which can instil a sense of security, confidence, and orientation. To create a sense of trust the experience for the passenger should be clear and personalized.

Waiting

2

THE
USER
JOURNEY

The approaching AV identifies the passenger waiting on the sidewalk.
It communicates that it has recognized the passenger with a wave-like gesture. The AV stops at the bus stop and projects a signal on the pavement to invite the passenger onboard.

Boarding

3

Identified Passengers

Upon boarding the bus, the passenger is welcomed by ripples on the floor which acknowledge their presence, evocative of a driver nodding at a passenger as they enter. In order to pay the fare, the passenger simply touches one of the bus poles to confirm the fare payment. Forgetful passengers will be reminded after a short time via a soft light beneath their feet reminding them to pay.

Spontaneous Passengers

Passengers who spontaneously decide to hail the autonomous vehicle (rather than booking their ride through the app) can interact with the bus to determine their destination and pay for the ride. When a spontaneous passenger touches a pole in the bus, it will expand to reveal an interface. The passenger can swipe through the stops, select their destination, and pay the fare.

Ride

4

The bus floor senses and responds to the passengers’ presence

from the moment they set foot on the bus until their last step when disembarking

During the ride, an interactive floor display can communicate
to the passengers:


>> the vehicle’s intent to stop or start

>> information about the ride, including the time left to the destination, vehicle's current location, the weather at the destination, the reason for any delays, and in the event of a long delay, alternate routes


>> ambient information about the outside environment,
such as the weather

The floor interface can instil trust by acknowledging the passenger’s presence
and assist in creating a sense of community between passengers.

Intention and awareness

Ride info

Getting Off

5

The bus will automatically stop at the destination the passenger indicated at the beginning of the ride. The floor will signal when their stop is approaching.

If the passenger decides to get off the bus at a stop other than the original destination, they can communicate this by touching the pole. The AV will provide a confirmation and stop at the requested point.

As the passengers leaves the bus, a trail is displayed on the bus floor and projected on the pavement to acknowledge their departure.

Outer Vehicle Communication

The vehicle serves as the orchestrator of all that is happening around it. The exterior of the vehicle enables communication with the outside world. Drawing on the non-verbal language of gestures, it interacts not only with the passengers but also with other road users: pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.

STATUS
Communicating when the bus is full or empty

ACKNOWLEDGMENT Informing road users around the AV it is aware of their presence

INTENT
Communicating what the AV is going to do next

From Vision to Reality

Designing Future Mobility means embarking on a journey. On this journey we prototype, draw, conduct research labs and workshops. We bring together designers and technologists who investigate and imagine how future interactions with AVs will materialize and be experienced.

The engineers and designers who collaborated on this project decided to tackle the challenge of conceptualizing an AV exterior that is capable of imitating human gestures by adopting natural structures and patterns. This decision reflects a unique approach to futuristic product design. Many future-facing products employ a visual language that is

influenced by science fiction and reflects an attempt to predict how technology will shape the products around us. The reseach presented here instead conceptualized future products that use soft and flowing shapes, inspired by nature and drawing on principles of non-verbal communication between humans.

Prototypes & Experiment

Envsioning tomorrow’s mobility and future interactions with AVs involves many exciting experiments and imaginative prototypes that are being pursued by the creative technologists, engineers, and designers collaborating on this project. You can learn more about our prototypes and design methodologies on the project’s website.

Designing Future Mobility - the Steps Ahead

The field of mobility is experiencing rapid and groundbreaking technological development. This development often outpaces human-generated operations such as regulation, infrastructure adjustments, implementation, and more. Based on the premise that transportation impacts everyone - turning all individuals into users – this design research aspires to develop services, experiences, and solutions that are human-centered and inclusive.