Multimodal interface for automated trucks on the highway in 2030

Tools: Research, Interviews, Brainstorming, Storyboarding, Low-Fi Prototyping, Bodystorming, Illustrator, Video Prototyping, After Effects, iMovie. Duration: Six weeks. Location: Umeå, 2013

The goal of this project was to get us acquainted with automation in the automotive industry. Specifically, we were asked to create a concept for automation in trucks driving in the highway in the year 2030. Our team consisted of Kevin Gaunt, Emily Keller, Migle Padegimaite and myself.

Initially we needed to understand how the industry is applying automation in vehicles today and how they intend to develop it in the future. Therefore, our research phase started with academic papers and online sources such as videos and truck drivers’ forums. We brainstormed over what the future could look like, to set a vision of the context of highway driving. We used User Journey Mapping as a way to identify challenges and opportunities while driving a truck in this context. Through our research we realized the important role of the truck driver as well as that platooning is an efficient way to save fuel while driving on highways where automation is already being applied.

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Diving into the journey of platooning

At the same time, our team had the opportunity to collect insights from interviews. Kevin Gaunt joined Jesper, the truck driver, for his daily trip from Umeå to Skellefteå. We then exchanged findings with other teams to create a persona that we later used to create our scenarios. Through brainstorming and bodystorming we managed to gain empathy regarding the expected interactions a driver has with the system and the fellow platooners. We realized that the lead driver’s role is of great importance and responsibility and we thought of a system where lead platooners could be compensated and encouraged. Indeed we aimed to maintain the Human to Human interaction throughout our solution, as we believe that this increases the trust in the process and the system. For this reason, we set our core values to maintain a user-centered approach: Trust, Freedom and Safety.

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Bodystorming
Brainstorming, lo-fi prototyping and bodystorming

Finally, we came up with a concept called “Heart of Scania”, which describes the relationship between the user and the automated system. The latter is a travel companion that takes over when the truck driver (who takes the role of the operator) joins a platoon. Additional research was conducted regarding a heads up display, for a user friendly feedback system.

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Example of a storyboard

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Sketches, Brand identity proposal and moments from the Heads-up Display