Inclusive Autonomous Vehicle Design

Ergonomists and engineers are considering ways to design autonomous vehicles to include a diversity of users. That includes people with disability and impairments. However, it’s not just a case of adding universal design principles into the design process. Designing an inclusive autonomous vehicle requires attention to many other factors. It’s an interdisciplinary design process.

A blue and white drawing of a small car against taller blue buildings signifying an autonomous vehicle.

Autonomous vehicles (AVs) present an opportunity for redefining the standard ergonomic design approaches especially when designing for people with disability and impairments.

Researchers in Europe have come up with a way to integrate relevant design data to ensure designs meet standards and the diversity of users. Overall user perception is linked to user perception and satisfaction and this is where ergonomics come into play. The paper is very technical and mainly of interest to engineers and ergonomists. The researchers claim that this platform will turn attention to “human-centric” design rather than engineering design.

For those who advocate for inclusive vehicle design, it shows the complexity designers have to deal with. However, it is good to see this important issue being addressed at this early stage of future mass production.

The title of the paper is, Inclusive Autonomous Vehicle Interior Design (IAVID) Platform. Click on the “Article” button to download the open access copy.

From the abstract

Passenger comfort in vehicles is a complex, human-centric segment of the vehicle interior design process. Autonomous vehicles (AVs) present an opportunity for redefining standard design approaches. There are options for improved ergonomics and meeting the needs of a wide range of users, including persons with impairments.

However, the complexity of incorporating universal design principles together with all other interdisciplinary information in the development process requires a suitable method to systematize the data and simplify their use.

This paper proposes a platform for inclusive autonomous vehicle interior design (IAVID) which can be used as a tool to support the creation of ergonomic and inclusive AV interiors. The proposed IAVID platform is based on model-based systems engineering. It is intended for organizing and updating all relevant interdisciplinary information to input in the AV interior development. By doing so, the interdisciplinary collaboration among vehicle development teams is strengthened.

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