This year has seen steady movement towards a new age of automobility. Headlines celebrated the introduction of Tesla’s Autopilot system. We experienced the first widespread vehicle recall due to hacking vulnerabilities. The underlying ethics of algorithms being written for autonomous vehicles were discussed.
The Norwegian Design Council has featured a concept car, designed by the electric car company Think, as an example of how companies should incorperate inclusive design in the design process. Think’s concept car incorporates modern communication and information technology, allowing users to connect to various applications or social media sites. Users can create personalized profiles that set the size, color, and contrast of the digital dashboard as well as the car’s other interfaces. These profiles could be saved and transferred from car to car, so that even when you rent or borrow a car, it can “become your car” by displaying your personalized settings. During the design process, Think interviewed users with a wide range of ages and mobility requirements in order to understand their needs. The result is that the car company has developed a concept that would work for a wide range of potential users.