A stress-free environment for self-driving car passengers not focused on the road is a crucial task for an AV, but it must allow passengers to maintain awareness of the vehicle’s decisions. An inflatable cushion located in the lower back of the car seat alerts the user of real-time decisions made by the vehicle’s AI, promoting stress relief and ensuring that the user is not distracted from their original task. Through vigorous user testing and numerous iterations, a prototype called SeatSense was developed. It drew inspiration from the acupressure concept in medicine, which aims to stimulate relief and release anxiety by touching upon specific points on the body. The SeatSense creates a gentle yet present push in the lower back through inflation through these points. This prototype calms and reassures the user and ensures a smooth stress-free journey.


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