IDEO | Chapter 4


How will tomorrow be different from today? We’ll live longer and move faster. Our resources will dwindle while our technological capacity grows. But our basic needs to sleep, eat, work, and get from place to place will stay the same. That last part is what we’re interested in here. How will we move people, things, and spaces together in the next decade? The case study of IDEO about the future of automobility tries to find out this.

The Future of Moving People

As we move from struggling with today’s inefficient relationship between cars and
infrastructure to one empowered by automobility, today’s slow journeys will seem
much faster as we are empowered to do so much more while on the go.


Morning! I’m all charged up and ready to
head to work with my owner, Sheila… But it looks like she’s running a bit late.

ID30-14 STATUS REPORT, 7:00 am

Why Driverless Cars?

Driverless cars are safe and efficient solutions to the recent rise in urban density. Futurologists predict that every shared autonomous vehicle will replace 11 conventional cars in the coming years.


Here she is now. Time to sync up with
her phone and check out her day…
Whoa, it’s packed!

ID30-14 STATUS REPORT, 7:03 am

Winning Back Time

When Alex Brown of the National Journal first took a ride in a self-driving car, he founded the experience “almost boring.” A boring commute means that passengers like Sheila can re-focus on more interesting and pressing tasks.


Looks like our usual commute is
pretty busy today, so we’ll take
the scenic route.

ID30-14 STATUS REPORT, 7:05 am

Room with a View

A generous interior design complemented by an open greenhouse can provide beautiful, unobstructed views for passengers in selfdriving cars. Sightseeing doesn’t get any better than this!


Let’s keep an eye out for who else is on the road today and see how they’re driving. Safety first!

ID30-14 STATUS REPORT, 7:18 am

Safety First

In 2011, there were 5.3 million automobile crashes in the US, resulting more than 2.2 million injuries and 32,000 deaths. The coming era of autonomous cars raises a few concerns about legal liability and safety, but there are good reasons to believe that self-driving technologies make roads safer.


Time to link up so Sheila can get busy. Traffic is easing up now – I guess more folks are platooning. T-minus 39 mins to work!

ID30-14 STATUS REPORT, 7:20 am

Linking Made Easy

During linked driving or when “platooning”, green lights indicate to drivers when other vehicles are open to linking or are already coupled. Multiple affordances aid drivers in finding and linking up to other vehicles headed to similar destinations.


Always good to let folks around me know whether Sheila is driving or if I have the wheel. Our green linking-status lights do just that.

ID30-14 STATUS REPORT, 7:27 am

New Language of Mobility

Just like the high-mounted, third brake light that has enhanced driver safety since its introduction in the mid-1980s, new ways of indicating whether a car is in autonomous mode or under the driver’s control can be designed and standardized.


When Sheila hands the driving over to me, it frees her up to do so much more on the way to work.

ID30-14 STATUS REPORT, 7:28 am

No Looking Back

Side-mounted video cameras feed side views to a central location within the vehicle while side sensors and active lane guidance prevent blind spot encounters.


Sheila is requesting a bigger workspace. Time to tuck away the steering wheel and pedals for a while.

ID30-14 STATUS REPORT, 7:30 am

Collaborative Console

Empowering passengers to work on the road can significantly reduce the impact of time lost to commuting. The center console provides an interactive surface that can support multiple users in both private and collaborative work.


Sheila and her friends are headed out after work, and I’m back on the job.

ID30-14 STATUS REPORT, 5:15 pm

What Changes at Night?

At night, projected visuals on the roadway make it more apparent that vehicles are linked.


Looks like everyone is up for a happy hour at our favorite spot! I’ll set the mood and make sure they get home safely afterward, too.

ID30-14 STATUS REPORT, 5:30 pm

Flexible Seating

Seats can be built on a multi-point pivot and slide frame, allowing occupants to engage with one another more natural and comfortable as they travel.