The biggest problem of the level 3 self-driving cars are the drivers

I’m following the evolution of the self-driving technologies with a lot of interest. Many automotive companies say that by 2020/2022 they will commercialize autonomous cars that will reach the level 4 or 5 of the SAE International Automated Driving standards.
Below the table that is commonly adopted by all the automotive industry.


Download the pdf here.

Wired points the level 3 human problem in a very clear way: humans are not capable to maintain their attention if they are not interested or required to. For simplifying, a crash in self-driving mode cannot be avoided thanks to the intervention of the driver that in the meanwhile could be reading a newspaper or watching a video. Humans are just too slow and in that case even too distracted for recognizing the risk and avoiding a crush.

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Self-driving bus service models and passengers User Experience

In the last months automotive world is talking a lot about autonomous and self-driving vehicles both for private and public transportation. During my day researches one day I found the exciting call for collaboration for Olli, the self-driving vehicle produced by Local Motors.

Designing the autonomous bus user experience is a complex task: for first because self-driving buses will serve the traditional public transportation diversified and multi-age target; second because without the driver and, in some cases, without a fixed route, passengers will have some new functional and informational needs.

The first part of my project started with a Service Design session focused on what kind of transportation services a self-driving bus can serve.

Personal on-demand shuttle

It’s like a Taxi/Uber, but less exclusive and more spacious. It brings one or more people from A to B. It can be reserved days in advance and can make various stops during a single dedicated service. The served area is restricted.

Shared on-demand shuttle

It’s like public transport service except for the fact that passengers can add a personalized stop to the route within the bus pertaining area. The route is dynamically optimized depending on users destinations and pick-up calls. The high level of complexity makes this service ideal for closed areas like small districts, big companies, entertainment parks etc.

Public Transport

It’s exactly the same public transport service as we know it.

Delivery service 

It’s like sending objects using a shipping company, but instead of giving the package to a human, users will schedule the shipment using an app or a dedicated device in the bus, and then they store the package in a secured housing inside the vehicle. The recipient will track the shipment in real-time and will be alerted when the bus is at the delivery point (or in front of his door). This service can be added to the “Shared on-demand shuttle” one, or it can be configured as an automated delivery service with customized buses and dedicated physical hubs.
This delivery service model is useful for companies that need to transport small parts within a relatively big space, or in modern cities creating a sort of fully automated shipping/delivery hubs for connecting wholesale shops and retails stores.

After this first Service Design session, I started a User Centered Analysis focused on the self-driving bus passengers needs. For designing a real accessible service, I defined only “analogue” needs excluding all the information/functions that a smartphone app could have. What you read is what my grandmother or a manager with a dead smartphone could need for using an autonomous bus.

What self-driving bus passengers need outside the bus

– Passengers need a purchase and reservation system that should be both digital (app), physical (street’s stops signs) and gestural (raising the hand for asking to catch the bus).
Here some examples of a simple bus stop sing with a call button (left) and an advanced stop sign with an integrated ticket machine and a digital screen (right).

SelfDriving_Bus_Stops_TicketsMachines_AntonioPatti

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Tesla Model 3 design and market success

Internet has already posted a lot about the new Tesla Model 3. I want to say something since the launch’s day, but first to start writing down this post, I read dozens of articles and their comments for understanding exactly what happened in the automotive industry and what kind of innovation is really bringing the Model 3.

Why Model 3 is a design success?

Tesla built an incredible brand. Tesla is the youngest automotive company that consumers remember like the older and biggest ones like Toyota, Wolkswagen, Nissan, BMW or Daimler. But unlike them, Tesla made the miracle of giving a desirability aura to electric vehicles and it did it not only making fast, efficient and advanced vehicles, but even having the courage to revolutionize the design of its (future) best-selling model.

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What kind of car Generation Z will buy?

A research conducted by Cox Automotive for two of the biggest car shopping and research websites in the US, Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book, describes the purchasing intention of the Generation Z.

Generation Z is composed by young that are actually between 12 and 17 years old. For the automotive industry they are evaluated 3.2 trillion of dollars by 2020, so it’s really interesting to understand what they will look into their future cars.

The most important insights that I read are:

  • 92% wants to own a car
  • they don’t care a lot about style and design
  • they remind some old-fashioned brands like Ford, Chevrolet and Honda for their solidity
  • they care more about saving money (in the purchase and running costs) than in saving the environment
  • they care more about safety than infotainment
  • they’d like to have autonomous vehicles for increasing security, but they don’t trust in that technology at all
  • they’ll buy a car in a car dealer, not online

Looking with attention the slide where the generations are described, I found some new interpretative keys of the Gen Z’s purchase intentions.

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Why Mobility Technologies

I love cars and motorcycle since when I was a teen. I remember my mother’s Fiat 500, my father’s Alfa 33, my neighbour Citroen 2cv and the Motobekane Moby parked in my box for years. I’m Antonio Patti, I’m employed at the transport company of Milan and I created “Mobility Technologies” because I want to put together my passion for automotive and my work experience in public transportation.

I love all the transport and mobility products like cars, motorcycle, industrial vehicles, buses, boats, airplanes etc. I’m interested in the mobility industry specially from the point of view of UX (user experience) and product design. So ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems), digital infotainment systems, interior and exterior designs are my great passion and the main topic of “Mobility Technologies”.

For the launch of the site I decided to organize the contents in four main sections:

  • Vehicles Design, where I post all kind of vehicles interesting design.
  • Personal Mobility, where I post about vehicles and technologies regarding consumers and industrial mobility.
  • Shared Mobility, where I post about public transport, smart cities and shared mobility.
  • MT Studies where I share my drafts, my concepts and my projects.
  • News Selection where I automatically post all the interesting news that I read.

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