ArtCenter College of Design
IF: Journal of Interactive + Inclusive Futures

2035 Future Autonomous Car in China’s Urban Area

Amber Li, Duoning Zheng, Jackie Chen, Yihan Luo

2035 Future Autonomous Car in China’s Urban Area

Project Introduction

As we think about the future of mobility, autonomous driving is a topic that inevitably comes up. With the success of Tesla, more and more people get to know autonomous driving and believe that full driving automation can come true. The trend of developing autonomous driving can also be witnessed in China. Since 2014, more and more companies in China have started researching and developing autonomous driving. This trending technology is bringing evolution to not only the car industry but also people’s trip experience.

Our team believes that we will achieve Level 5 autonomous driving in 2035. At that time, people would be free from driving and focus on their ride experience. Therefore, our team would like to predict and design/refine a seamless future ride experience to let everyone travel without obstruction and enjoy the trip or commute.

2035 Future Autonomous Car in China’s Urban Area

“Our mission is to enable everyone in the city, no matter they are old or with disabilities, to go where they want to go with joy and confidence. ”

"There are only two kinds of people: people with disabilities and people who haven't found them yet."

-------- Chris Downey


Our vision of the future world is one where cities will be more inclusive and where everyone in the city can live a happy and accessible life.

Nowadays, we can still see voices on the Internet that argue that people with disabilities should adapt to the city, rather than having the city adapt to them.

However, they are incorrect and not good for the city. Disability is not something that is far from our lives. Everyone can experience a disability at some point. For example, when we get older, which everyone does, we have cognitive problems and mobility impairments. In addition, many of the useful designs we use every day were originally designed for people with disabilities. For example, telephones were originally designed for people with visual impairments, and captions were designed for people with hearing problems.

In this project, our team wants to push the limits of the design by imagining the future of design for people with disabilities. With the time limits, we mainly focus on its of how healthy people and aging people could interact better with future cars.


行,Xíng system

Xíng means “to travel” and also “to be able to” in Chinese. We use “Xing” to name our system because of not only the direct meaning of this word but also our expectation towards the future mobility that it contains.

2035 Future Autonomous Car in China’s Urban Area

Project Background

—— The Urban Areas of China in 2035

The context we chose for our project was the urban areas of China in 2035.

For the time setting, according to our research, level 5 automated driving is most likely to be achieved in 2035. At the same time, this 10-year span will be the best time for people to become familiar with and accept autonomous driving.

For the location, we believe that urban areas in China have the greatest opportunity. In our research, the U.S. and China are the two countries leading the way in autonomous driving. In both countries, the Chinese have more acceptance of autonomous driving and are willing to pay more money for it. The huge potential market in China draws us to explore what we can do to meet this trend. At the same time, urban areas in China have more sophisticated supporting facilities, such as charging stations, and people have a higher level of acceptance of high technology. In conclusion, we made our final decision in China's urban areas.

Research Summary

Future Technology

  • L5 autonomous driving

  • Artificial Intelligence

  • Smart City

  • Mixed Reality (VR, AR & MR)

  • Blockchain technology

  • cloud computing

  • Metaverse

Transportation + Mobility

  • Public transportation will be more important since The physical constraints of road capacity simply do not enable autonomous (even with high vehicle utilization).

  • L5 autonomous driving will come true.

  • A large sum of people won’t have a private car.

  • Car-share will be mainstream.

Cultural Trends

  • The urbanization rate of China's resident population is expected to be around 72% in 2035.

  • According to the authorities, it is predicted that the elderly population will reach 400 million by 2035, and the number of disabled and semi-disabled elderly people will further increase.

Fashion Trends

  • Clothes will function as a new interface

  • wearable devices(smart)

  • multi-interaction for example the wearable devices connect with the olfactory(MIT Media Lab)

  • on-face olfactory interface 

  • Fashion will retain its identity as a form of escapism and expression

Living + Housing

  • smart home with the digital home manager

  • eco-neighborhoods eg: residencies that provide fleets of self-service vehicles, car-pooling programs. and real-time information about public transportation schedules 

Jobs and Employment

  • Automation is likely to make some jobs redundant: taxi drivers replaced by self-driving Uber cars; receptionists replaced by robots; doctors outclassed by algorithms that can plug into vast medical databases.

  • Those of us who work probably won’t do so in a traditional office either. 

CLA Map

2035 Future Autonomous Car in China’s Urban Area

Delphi Report

2035 Future Autonomous Car in China’s Urban Area

2035 Future Casting

2035 Future Autonomous Car in China’s Urban Area

Best Scenario

The development of the Internet of Things, big data, and blockchain will keep private cars off the roads. Automated car-sharing services will complement public transportation and solve the combined first/last mile problem. With improved algorithms, those cars on the street could be highly utilized. This will reduce traffic congestion in urban areas. At the same time, the car will not just be a means of transportation, but a personal space where all possibilities can be realized.

Normal Scenario

Auto-driving will reduce the number of private cars on the road. Automated car-sharing services, private cars, and public transportation together form a transportation network. This can alleviate traffic congestion in urban areas to some extent delay still does not guarantee a high utilization of transportation. At the same time, cars are more entertaining.

WorstScenario

People can’t accept autonomous driving due to accidents caused by it, and everyone insists on using manual driving. Although the technology is evolving, it is hard to make people believe in autonomous driving again.

2035 Future Persona

2035 Future Autonomous Car in China’s Urban Area

Sketches & Ideations

2035 Future Autonomous Car in China’s Urban Area

Solution Statement

Xing is a cross-platform system for the future of mobility.  It provides seamless navigation and rides experience for all who live in China’s urban area to enable them to go everywhere they want with confidence and joy.

Ecosystem

2035 Future Autonomous Car in China’s Urban Area

Future Smart Glasses

Smart Glasses will be an integral part of our future life and our system. Guided by our design strategy, we have reimagined how it interacts with people and added special features to make it more inclusive for all.

A bone conduction headset is a more inclusive form of the sound input. It can serve not only normal people but also people with hearing impairment (but not hearing neurological impairment) to enjoy voice interaction.

Instead of using the bone conduction headset module and microphone module as separate entities, we have integrated them into the smart glasses. Because we believe that the simpler the personal device, the better when on the go.

2035 Future Autonomous Car in China’s Urban Area

Smart Glasses Design Guideline

Self-Adaption Interface

The dark mode and light mode

The dark mode and light mode

1. Light & Dark Mode

The interface will adjust the light or dark theme by the environment. When it is daytime, the system will adjust to the dark mode. When the users are under shadow or the environment is dark, the system will adjust to the light theme. 

focusing on the interface / focusing on the environment

focusing on the interface / focusing on the environment

2. Change the opacity and blur with the eye focal point

The interface adjusts the contrast, opacity according to the focus and focal point of users’ eyes.

2035 Future Autonomous Car in China’s Urban Area

Design system for smart glasses interface

Smart Glasses Features

1. Starting the Navigation

Through the brain-computer interface, users can open Xing with their thoughts. the start page will be the 'starting the navigation' page. Users can use 'Thought to Text' or 'Voice Input' to enter the places they want to go. In addition, the system will generate a 'Guess where you want to go' based on the plans on the user's calendar. The system will sort all of the user's plans based on the time of occurrence, and the user can initiate navigation directly by clicking on specific events.


2035 Future Autonomous Car in China’s Urban Area

2. Route Planning

After selecting a location, the system plans different ways of travel for the user and displays their time and cost separately. This design is to help users find the fastest and optimal way to travel in advance to avoid special conditions such as traffic jams.

3. Waiting for the car

The system will match the user with the nearest vehicle nearby. After matching, the user can view the vehicle's driving route, remaining time, and other information. When the user exits xing and uses other software, the vehicle information panel will change to thumbnail mode and hover at the top of the page throughout. 


4. Getting on the car

When the car arrives, the system will pop up a notification and highlight the user's car with an illuminated stroke in the user's glasses for better identification. If it is the user's first time using Xing, especially for wheelchair users, the system will play the vehicle introduction and guidance animation in the left panel to facilitate the user's familiarization and enjoyment of Xing's in-vehicle services.

5. Show the surrounding information

By using smart glasses in the journey, users can see specific information of the surrounding stores and directly navigate to the chosen store.

6. Check vehicle driving information

Since the car is automated, the smart glasses show your location on the map and car speed. 

Autonomous Car Exterior Features
2035 Future Autonomous Car in China’s Urban Area

Ergonomics Door & Slope

The automatic door and the self-lifting slope help people with mobility difficulties to get into the car easily.

Autonomous Car Interior Features

1. Multi-modes Seat

When the user is seated, the touch button on the armrest can be used to adjust the position of the leg to relax and move the chair around. For the elderly, the tiltable chair surface can help them get up from their seat more easily.

2. Inclusive Seat

The inclusive seat design adapts to multiple user groups. For wheelchair users, the seat surface can be hidden and can block and help move the wheelchair around. 

2035 Future Autonomous Car in China’s Urban Area

5.Adjust the mode

In the journey, the user is able to switch the mode per their needs.

2035 Future Autonomous Car in China’s Urban Area

4. TouchScreen Table

The desktop is a touch screen, you can call up the virtual keyboard, virtual drawing board, and other media. The vibration sensor under the desktop can give people a more realistic touch.

2035 Future Autonomous Car in China’s Urban Area

5.Adjust the mode

In the journey, the user is able to switch the mode per their needs.

2035 Future Autonomous Car in China’s Urban Area

6. Window Selection for the Table

The user can add and switch between different windows.

1. Ting needs to go to her office to have an offline meeting today so she adds this schedule to her calendar.

2. She uses her smart glasses to make plan her route to the office and finds that taking the car is the quickest way.

3. She calls a car with her smart glasses. With the smart glasses, she can always check where the car she called is and navigate to the nearest stop easily. 

4. She gets in the car and adjusts the seats to the desk. With the desk, she can work and entertain on the way of the journey.

1. David is really old and has to use a wheelchair to go out. On XING, he calls a car to pick him at the hospital.

2. Because XING has his information when the car is on its way to pick David up, the car lowers the cushion and hides it under the ground so that the back of the seat can hold the wheelchair. 

3. When the car arrives, he can just roll him to the gate and let the car pick him with his wheelchair in the car.

4. The seats will lock him and bring him to the right place.

Takeaways

“In this class, I learned a lot about basic theories and conceptual frameworks in future design. I hope that our design helps more people reach the places that they want to go.”
Yihan
“This course allowed me to see the different perspectives on the same problem from designers of different academic backgrounds and gave me more experience in remote collaboration.”
Amber
“In terms of the entire project, we are exploring future mobility solutions. I learned a lot about how to use design to empower future mobility. We imagine and design future software and hardware interaction methods to make future travel plans more inclusive and convenient.”
Jackie
“This project gave me an opportunity to really explore what inclusivity is and envision what kind of future I want to live in. It was a fascinating experience to explore what the limits of existing interactions are and what future technologies will bring new life to interaction design. I am proud of our project and I hope our imagination of future mobility will give you some food for thought and inspiration for future interactions. ”
Duoning