Near Future Laboratory Research
To spark a conversation around the big questions that come with the fast-approaching world of autonomous vehicles, we set about to create a tangible artifact from the near future: a manual for the self-driving car.
Working with the design consultancy Near Future Laboratory, we used a seemingly counterintuitive research strategy (creating the user manual for a nonexistent car) to speculate on how interaction design could meet the new challenges posed by self-driving automobiles.
We began by charting known data points and needs relating to self-driving automobiles. Afterward expanding out from those points to create the design fiction that is the Quick Start Guide. This oblique method created a highly informative document revealing many of the opportunities that will arise when designing the interactions of this new type of automobile.
The most significant insight that I took from this project is that autonomous vehicles will likely be more valued for their ability to smoothly interface and earn money in the highly networked cities of the future than for their mechanical performance.