CURBLuuk Schot (2023) coached by Mendel Broekhuijsen, Marieke Martens
As the population is growing, and is expected to continue doing so until 2084, cities and their infrastructures are overcrowding causing problems like traffic congestion and lack of parking spots. Besides these daily problems, yearly an estimated 85 million motor vehicles are produced, adding to the 1.4 billion motor vehicles on earth at this current moment. The production and transport of these vehicles is quite unsustainable, with the US transportation sector being the largest domestic contributor to climate change, emitting more greenhouse gasses than any other sector. Additionally, research estimates that of those 1.4 billion vehicles, only approximately 5% is used at a time, and that one vehicle could be effectively shared by up to 11 people. With these insights, and the fast developments in the area of autonomous vehicles, CURB designed for a scenario where all cars are level 3 autonomous vehicles, as well as shared vehicles supported by an access-based economy.
There are two main problems regarding shared level 3 AV’s, namely the lack of control and praise for their ability that users face, and property damage caused by a phenomenon well-documented in shared services, called tragedy of the commons. The user gets a personal key to the system, which as been shown to make users feel more connected to a system that they do not own, and using this personal key they can give the AV input on its driving behaviour. CURB will then move the pattern on the armrest in a way that visualises the users input, making the user feel more included in the AV’s decisions as well as making them feel more praised for their abilities as a driver.
CURB also reacts to surrounding traffic situations, using its panel to visualise the emotions that these traffic situations evoke and therefore creating a shared experience with the user. This shared experience will reinforce the bond between the user and the AV, resulting in more mutual respect and reduced effect of tragedy of the commons.
The patterns used are based on natural elements such as smooth water, spiky cacti or agitated birds, making the way the user perceives these patterns intuitive and instinctive. The control panel is situated in the middle of the moving panel, making it a comfortable resting place for the users hand and easy to venture out to feel the pattern while performing other tasks like checking emails.