Look mum, no hands! Reporting from Innovate UK’s Driverless Cars briefing

7 August 2015
John Anthony

Author: John Anthony

Finding the problems that need solving and jumping into the deep end.

Driverless cars

credit: http://money.cnn.com/2015/02/11/technology/driverless-car-uk/

Tube strike blues? Us too, and yet another reason we’re excited about conducting some research into the future experience of driverless cars and autonomous vehicles.

Earlier this week, we attended Innovate UK’s briefing on it’s competition on driverless cars, created to encourage the development of connected and autonomous vehicles.

The collaborative R&D competition is focussed on three themes – connectivity, autonomy and customer interaction – along with catalysing new business models.

Some interesting topics and areas of research focus at the event were:

  • The use of data science and real-time AI to interpret and experiment with data generated from autonomous vehicles
  • Vehicle-to-vehicle communication and how groups of vehicles in the same area can share data to build up information on surroundings
  • Interaction and signalling to pedestrians and other road users from autonomous vehicles
  • The adoption and reaction to driverless cars
  • Security – obviously extremely important
  • Smart cities and infrastructure

Leading Academic institutions and companies were present with delegates from the likes of: Cranfield University, University of Warwick, Brunel University, Loughborough University, Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren, Intel, Cisco, Ocado and Atkins to name but a few of the big names engaged with the development of the technology in this exciting area.

With fully autonomous vehicles approaching on the near horizon – as soon as 5 years depending on who you speak to; experience and service designers/researchers are posed with some interesting questions to answer and challenges to tackle…

What are people’s attitudes and mental models towards autonomous vehicles? What will the new in-car experience be? How will pedestrians and other road users communicate with autonomous cars? How will an active passenger interact with their vehicle?…

Watch this space for updates on our project into the future experience of driverless cars later this year.

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