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On the road to the future

Traffic jam on the way back from the holidays. The family's mood is at an all-time low, when suddenly a soft voice appears: "Feel like having some tagliatelle al limone? Today's special at your favorite restaurant just 5 miles down the road. A table for four is available. Would you like to book it?" In this case, the users' "personal assistant", i. e. the car, not only notices what they need but, thanks to a connection to the mobile devices in the car, even knows who's on board. A UID study looks at the creative leeway of networked mobility, autonomous driving and aesthetic design. Sample screens from the study reveal that the crucial part in developing automotive interfaces is to offer the driver exactly the information they need when they need it. Interior design, interaction, decoration and information form an intelligent symbiosis.

"We develop networked mobility to meet the drivers' requirements. It's not only about designing digital displays or about just another screen here or there. No, it's about supporting the networked digital lifestyle of tomorrow by creating a visionary design and user-friendly concepts." Manfred Dorn, UID's Head of Design

References Am Connected Car Prozess 550


Only an interdisciplinary team made up of analysts, conceptioners, programmers and designers is able to meet the challenges of the automotive future by developing new ideas. And when the UID specialists also chip in their expertise from different industries such as the consumer, manufacturing or medical industries, success will come naturally.


Good design is the key to the user's heart and mind. Design makes thoughts visible. At UID, we achieve this by establishing creative circles using design thinking methods. They are made up of interdisciplinary teams of psychologists, software engineers and designers. For our study, the UID experts first developed various style collections and interaction scenarios, putting themselves in the shoes of tomorrow's drivers. Further along in the process, ideas were visualized to enable a detailed, interactive and tangible experience for the test participants, who explored them in our own lab.

References Automotive Connected Car Team 700


In the study, the user interface changes with the traffic situation. When the car is set to autonomous driving, the driver has full access to the infotainment and communication systems. Whenever drivers maneuver the car themselves, the design directs the focus on the key functions.


The cockpit of the future integrates mobile devices, allowing the drivers, for example, to preheat the home sauna while they're still on the road. At the same time, complex services are active in the background, giving the driver for example real-time information on traffic or free parking spaces at the destination.


Operating the networked cockpit is fun, and the HMI appeals to drivers. Being a key interface with the user, it showcases the digital possibilities in a novel design.


The car's interior is becoming digital. The wooden elements of conventional cars have been replaced by large displays, which integrate harmoniously with their surroundings. Thanks to their mobile devices, the system provides passengers with personalized offerings on individual screens.