Autonomous vehicle design

This Automotive World report considers the how developers can design effective and ergonomic autonomous vehicles

Special report: Autonomous vehicle design

High-level autonomous vehicles (AVs) are still many years away from mass deployment and, as such, exactly what these vehicles will look like remains up for debate. Though some developers have offered the industry early glimpses, whether through prototypes, concept cars or renders, it is unlikely that all of today’s design assumptions will become the norm.

Designers working in this field can give themselves the best chance of success by focusing on ergonomics and the human experience. Understanding how an occupant will want to interact with an AV will be critical to designing an effective in-vehicle experience.

There are also practical challenges to consider too. The location and placement of sensors is important for maximising data collection, and the perfect locations for cameras, LiDAR, radar and other technologies are unlikely to be identical for all vehicle types. Developers must not also neglect passive safety: though an AV is theoretically less likely to crash than a human-driven vehicle, errors will still inevitably happen.

It is still early days for this industry segment, and there is still plenty of work to do in refining external and internal AV designs. However, with more operators looking to deploy their Level 4 and 5 vehicles in the public domain, these companies’ design philosophies could be put to the test sooner rather than later.

In this report:

'Special report: Autonomous vehicle design’ presents insight from:

  • Ample
  • Thatcham Research
  • WiTricity
  • Qt company
  • REE Automotive
  • University of Michigan
  • Volvo
  • Kodiak Robotics
  • Aurora
  • Accenture

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