The head of Google’s autonomous car design team is developing a minimalist vehicle interior with few buttons that focuses on keeping drivers relaxed while the car is in control.
YooJung Ahn says designers have to change their view of what a car is if they are to successfully develop driverless models and focus on the 'user experience', instead of driver involvement.
Users need to have absolute faith in the driverless vehicle technology that is transporting them, she says, but the interior will play a key part in ensuring customers feel relaxed on the road.
She told The Verge: ‘As a product designer, I have a lot of advantages. Senior [car] designers know so much that they cannot get outside of the box easily. Since I did not know much about how car design works, we focused on maximum visibility, technology, safety and what the user needs. We want to switch the paradigm [and] create something relatable and intuitive, which is not confusing.
‘Everybody has smart phones right now, but when you look back 10 years, nobody had them. I think it will take a longer time than other products, because a car is naturally very complex.’
Google autonomous cars have covered more than 2 million miles and there are currently more than 50 vehicles undergoing tests.
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