Exterior shape-change in automated vehicles


When introducing automated vehicles, they need to be able to communicate with other road users. Previous research presents several ways to do this. A relatively new and unexplored direction in this field is based on the effectiveness of communicating the vehicle’s intent via movement patterns and the ‘body language’ of vehicles. This way of communicating raises the question; how could exterior Shape Change be used in communication between automated vehicles and other road users? To answer this question, I made a taxonomy of exterior shape change in which I analysed 40 concepts to create an overview of what already exists. Based upon this taxonomy, I created animations of exterior shape change concepts, which were discussed in a focus group to gain insight into what they communicate and why. The insights of this study can be used to create automated vehicles that can communicate their intention in an intuitive way.

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