14 Potential Research and Design Opportunities

Through our research we gained valuable insight and findings which suggest that identifying subtle emotional shifts and what causes them when driving, enables us to look for feasible solutions from technology and subsequently to design user friendly interfaces. We envisage numerous opportunities to build on this research, in particular – looking at people’s emotional challenges regarding navigation, journey preparation and the use of shared vehicles. Additionally we are interested in understanding how we might design vehicle services for a circular economy from a materials perspective and how this would operate. Below we outline possible related topics for us and our readers to consider and possibly make into new research projects.

  • To inform satellite navigation interface design, a study could be conducted to understand how different people recognise and memorise route information. Workshops could be held where participants would be challenged to find their way to an unfamiliar destination using only hand drawn maps which they would produce after briefly referencing Google maps before leaving. This could lead to useful insights of people’s mapping ability.
  • As people’s views on ownership change new models emerge and we see a shift towards a sharing economy. An exploration into the barriers that prevent or reasons that encourage people to use vehicle-sharing services could be conducted. Research into how friends and neighbourhood communities share vehicles could be carried out in order to develop scenarios and user case studies to support the design of future vehicles.
  • To encourage the move towards circular and sharing economies an investigation into how vehicle owners, who may want to keep their current vehicle could upgrade physical components, technological functions and apps. Exploring the challenges and possibilities of new services like these could help automotive companies participate in a circular and shared economy.
  • Considering parking restrictions in cities and special user needs, such as disabilities, research could be conducted in order to design seamless journeys that offer door-to-door solutions in owned or shared vehicles. Investigating social networks might play an indispensable role in developing this, including peripheral services, such as apps for spotting an easy-to-access parking space.  
  • A study could be conducted into autonomous vehicle and human operation systems with a focus on giving control back to users. Before autonomous vehicles become ubiquitous and legislation is changed, users’ will still have to make critical decisions overriding driverless technology. Practical research subjects might include; how end-users might want to control the car when a high level of autonomy is available and how user behaviour might change from one level of autonomy to the next.

For a copy of our paper “Defining Ritualistic Driver and Passenger Behaviour to Inform In-Vehicle Experiences” click HERE


What does “Emotional Tech” mean to you? We’d love to hear from you. Share your story on LinkedIn or on Twitter @RCA_IMDC.