As the talk of future technologies becomes the talk of the present, the auto industry has advanced vehicle sensing and AI in hopes of creating a system of safety and efficiency for their customers.
Collision Avoidance Systems, Smart Tech, and Self-Driving Vehicles
To help reduce the likelihood or seriousness of a collision, many auto companies have developed and deployed integrated systems using cameras and radar transmitters, in addition to alerts to the driver if their action is needed. These warnings come in the form of audible, visual and sometimes physical, such as a tug from the seatbelt, and all work together to alert the driver if they momentarily get distracted while behind the wheel.
Features such as lane assist, smart parking, blind spot protection along with additional safety features are systems that have been designed in newer models to give consumers a taste of what self-driving might feel like. These systems use cameras to detect lane and road markers and can pick-up when a vehicle is about to swerve off the road and steer the vehicle back in lane if the driver fails to take action. This technology improvement is outstanding progress and has the potential to save lives. According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), in 2016, distracted driving claimed 3,450 lives.
These features save lives but do potentially give up some control that could impact the overall driving experience. As cars get smarter, User Insight believes there are a few critical UX fundamentals to consider ensuring the overall driving experience is not compromised.
Visibility of system status
This is about communication and the transparency of the system. Drivers should always be informed of the systems status so that they have control to make the proper decisions necessary for a safe driving experience. For example, if the collision prevention brake is about to kick in there should be a warning, visual or audible, for the driver to react to.
User control and freedom
When drivers turn on safety features such as lane assist or smart parking, they should always have the ability to turn off these systems quickly and the choice to use them when appropriate. One example of this is clear visuals displayed or highlighted when features are turned on.
Recognition rather than recall
Drivers are constantly being presented with information that they are being asked to remember. Key buttons and features should be apparently visible to drivers so that they can quickly recognize what actions they may need to take. As more features come into play it will be key to remove the clutter – visual iconography. When adding buttons and displays, it is critical to streamline the visual iconography and to keep it simple and easy to understand.
Aesthetic and minimalist design
Drivers only need the minimum amount of information in order to complete a task. Overloading them with extra instruction or information will compete with what is most important. As tasks and features get more complex it is important to keep it approachable and easy for Drivers to understand their role.
As consumers become more and more distracted by the stimulus around them, they can rest easy knowing that the auto industry is taking drivers’ safety into account. We are excited to see how industry continues to embrace technology to improve our driving experience.
User Insight partners with the world’s leading automotive brands as well as startups and mid-sized organizations to deepen relationships with their customers. Our team uses qualitative and quantitative user experience and innovation consulting to empower our clients with deep customer understanding.