What if software merged with hardware? The great advancements in technology are transforming cars into the next digital frontier, redefining the interior architecture and human machine interface for better mobility experience. The thesis intended to explore new interaction paradigms in future self-driving vehicles.
Inspiration and Method
With a cross-discipline scope, the formula is to blend digital information and functionality into physical form and material, blurring the boundary between the car’s interior and interface. Started with brainstorming around potential scenarios in automotive context such as connectivity, entertainment and wellbeing, various use cases were established and analyzed in order to evolve the experiences. To follow up a user centered approach, physical mock-ups and interactive media have been produced, simulating and validating the concepts with real users. Then comes to the form development of overall interior, leveraging between usability, ergonomics and automotive aesthetics. The conclusion is that in the booming digital era, it requires a true marriage between virtual and physical world for us as designers to create natural and intuitive experiences with technology.
As the final result, Living Zone demonstrates a holistic vision of Volvo mobility experience in autonomous future. A premium commuting service with hundreds of thousands Drive Me self-driving vehicles available around global cities for Volvo customers in subscription. The base model is a two seater urban commuter with efficient package made for collective and on-demand use and connected traffic flow. With a true Scandinavian lounge atmosphere inside of the vehicle, passengers can well enjoy some quality time with great privacy and space, or travel together with friends in a open and social environment. All digital functionality and connectivity are blended into the physical surrounding of users, providing natural and intuitive experience with various technologies. The core interface is the tangible manifestation of Volvo artificial intelligence in the center, it talks and moves like a living being with emotional senses, empowering people with its amazing capability in advanced tasks. For the common use cases such as media and climate control, users are able to interact directly with its functional elements and appreciate the the superb sense of manipulation and material. Contextual information and immersive content can be displayed on the side window, transforming the interior into a 360 degree digital environment.