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Sept - Nov

This thesis topic explores how different instrument cluster designs impact the ability of a person to calibrate their trust while driving a Level 3, conditional autonomous vehicle. 


The user study tested three instrument cluster designs with 15 participants. The recorded reaction times, trust scores, and workload scores did not show significant differences between the designs. However, certain elements and layout styles across the three designs were perceived as beneficial for appropriating user tests and responding faster to take over alerts/requests. 

In a Level 3 Automation or Conditional Automation "a driver is a necessity but is not required to monitor the environment. The driver must be ready to take control of the vehicle at all times."  The automation notifies the driver when he might need to take over control. This notice is famously called the takeover request (TOR). Current research on TOR typically assesses the quality of TOR with reaction times and workload. The appropriate usage of a system is owed to the calibrated level of trust which is the level of trust that reflects the system's capabilities and performance. 
How can we visually communicate TOR so user might establish appropriate trust calibration with the autonomous vehicle?
The research question I was exploring answers to was brought down to three main topics of discussion: The role of humans in autonomous vehicles, Trust Calibration, and Design for Takeover. I read over 40 research papers that explored these topics inside and outside the context of autonomous vehicles. 

The authors speak about the requirement for transparent communication between the system and driver facilitating decision-making with appropriate awareness, confidence, and trust. Measuring an abstract and complex emotional process such as trust was an interesting challenge to journey through. Human Factors and psychology experts through their research break down the relationship a person can build with a system. With this knowledge, they designed several tools to measure trust in the context of autonomous vehicles. 

I analyzed some of the Level 2 and Level 3 features available in cars today. The car UIs of Tesla, Waymo, Cruise-General Motors, Audi A8, and Cadillac were evaluated against the following questions.

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User Perception Research

Though for a large part, this is research on a technology that isn’t widely available to the public yet, I found it would be interesting to gather how people imagine this technology to look like. I created a design activity by breaking down the pieces of information that we expect to go on the instrument cluster (based on previous analysis of car interfaces and research on Level 3 autonomous vehicles). I had five participants place these pieces on an empty instrument cluster image based on where they would imagine seeing this information. By overlaying the pieces placed by different participants, it was clear to see where on the instrument cluster most users would prefer to see certain information. 

As part of the design activity I also recorded the participant thinking out loud. This data revealed how the participants would wish to see the TOR appear.

Design Activity Takeaways

TOR needs to be indicated with complete change in display with the color red. 

The view of the lane is beneficial. The map view can also add value. 

They would like to see obstacles that appear around the vehicle in the lane view

Displaying current and expected actions of the vehicle in autonomous mode.

Empathy Maps 
We mapped the user's journey to find the potential pain points. To get a deeper understanding of the user we built out empathy maps. 
Through the interviews we discovered that investors was one of the main attendee of the conference. We develop the personas as representative of  the three stakeholders and product development was in regards to them. 
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The Problem
Manual Registration makes the process long and inconvenient because of crowd and wait time. 
Networking can be disappointing and inefficient too as TechCrunch is too crowded to have meaningful conversations
Finding the right start-ups in the start-up alley crowds is challenging. 
Ideation Workshop
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We conducted two sessions of an ideation workshop with three participants each gain new perspective on the problems. 
From the ideation workshop we were able to bring out 3 concepts. We iterated the different solutions based on peer feedback and focused it around finding an effective way to steer users around the crowds. 
In the case of a busy booth, investors and VCs who want to connect can book a meeting with the startup using the mobile application. the booths also have an intercative screen to provide more information on the startup.
Check-in Kiosks
An automated check in system with kiosks instead of employees.
Issues Addressed
- Crowd at check-in lines 
- Wait time at check-in lines 
Category Based Networking  
Categorizing startups allow investors to pick and schedule meetings with startups in categories of their liking.
Issues Addressed
- Investor-stratup matching 
- Investor-Startup relationship
- Meeting the right people
Indoor Navigation App
A schedule based mobile app feature that shows the way to the booth, investors are meeting with.
Issues Addressed
- Way finding times
- Crowd at startups booth 
- Wait times at startup booths 
Evaluating the concept 
To -Be Journey maps 
With the previous journey maps we developed in the research stage we plugged in our concept to visualize how the emotional journey of the three different stakeholders changes. 
Service Blueprint
The service blueprint breaks down the concepts to analyse how it would impact the stakeholders journeys, channel needs, stratergy and execution. We used the tool as the main reference to product development.
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Venture Capitalist
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Registration wireframe 
Check-in Kiosk wireframe 
Crunchmeet mobile app wireframe 
Crunchmeet Apple Watch app wireframe 
Registration webpage prototype
Check-in Kiosk prototype 
Crunchmeet mobile app prototype
Crunchmeet Apple Watch app prototype
Crunchmeet was a project we focused on in developing the Service design. I learnt to use different service design tools in researching the brand and visualizing the user journey throughout the Conference. The use of the service blueprint revealed some key advantages of understanding the impact of user journey on different organizational resources. Since our solutions were mostly digital I learnt the importance of wireframing and doing peer testing to improve in further design iterations. Designing the watch interface was challenging. With limited pixel size I focused on understanding what information would be useful for users at the conference. With this project I improved my skills on Figma and using research tools. 
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