Self-Driving Cars (SDC’s) are part of a critical shift that articulates a technological leap forward. SDC’s propose solutions to current transportation problems in order to change how people address mobility. While there are many distinct advantages to SDC’s, the environmental benefits have caused excitement to many scientists and environmentalists. Most of the SDC’s being driven (and test-driven) today are already fully electric. SDC’s use significantly less gas and energy when driving, compared to a vehicle driven by a human. Most gas is burned when driving at high speeds, braking, and re-accelerating excessively. SDC’s cut these factors out of their driving style, meaning less gas is heated, or battery power consumed, resulting in less air pollution.
Transportation Society of America (2014), predicts that autonomous vehicles can reduce oil consumption by 2-4% over the next ten years as intelligent transport systems start to flood the market. SDC’s also mean fewer cars per household, this reduces the overall number of vehicles on the road, as well as unnecessary overlapping trips that contribute to emissions. It also means that, as driverless car technology is advanced, the weight of the cars will drop as a result of lighter batteries, and less need for heavy safety modifications to the engine.
SDC’s are undoubtedly a benefit for the planet. Not only will they help curb emissions, reduce fatalities of humans and wildlife, and allow city planners to focus on green space more than roads, they’ll also give every commuter more time in their days.
While SDC’s have the potential to improve safety and enhance the quality of life, many people appear reluctant to adopt the technology due to safety and control issues. The SDC concept needs a new technique of communication to overcome the challenge of earning the trust of future customers, as they form the demand in the technology market and future investments in infrastructure.
The user interface is fundamental to the way people perceive the driving experience. Innovative means for user interface development and interaction design are required to expedite the adoption of technology. The present research is proposing a multimodal in-car interaction design that is poised in the future to be implemented for SDC’s.
This model will provide an eco-friendly prototype that contributes to raising awareness towards climate change. By highlighting the environmental materials and the solution, the car could provide.
Omayma Alqatawneh, is a PhD researcher in the School of Art, Design, and Architecture, at the University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom. Omayma’s present research interest is in the area of Design Fiction. Design fiction is considered one of the most promising and exciting design approaches, premised on exploring alternative worlds to speculate on the future by using a combination of fiction and prototyping.
Employing design fiction tools to enhance the adoption of self-driving cars to presenting a new concept of a car with multimodal in-car interaction that fulfils customer requirements, provide an innovative and sustainable solution to current transportation problems to change how people address mobility.