Enhancing the driving experience with artificial intelligence
The automotive industry is going through a seismic shift, autonomous vehicles are fast approaching our roads and for car owners, thanks to mobile phone, the private space afforded by the car is now very much connected to the rest of their lives.
Swift Funk aim to offer drivers something different to traditional radio with ‘Kasi Drive’, a mobile application powered by artificial intelligence and aiming to enhance the driving experience. I was approached to head up the product design, from product strategy to UI/UX and prototyping.
Designing vehicle dashboards with Zero UI
Kasi Drive was in its early stages when I was brought in to help shape the product strategy and UI/UX design. With so many potential opportunities, it was essential to prioritise features.
Through a series of workshops we explored the different types of drivers (users), situations and the issues they often face within the car (our use cases). Driving performance and entertainment were key areas we focused on and what we mapped initial user journeys around. We highlighted user motivations that served a need within that environment and anchored all proposed solutions around road safety.
Safety being a critical consideration of this project; how do we provide the user a simple and quick interface requiring minimal interaction (certainly no more than they’re already familiar with)? Voice recognition or ‘Zero UI’ affords users hands-free control and for Kasi, this interface also needs to be intuitive and easy to remember, ensuring minimal cognitive load whilst driving. When navigating Kasi (be that via voice or touch), a conceptual model of ‘spaces’ is used to distinguish between the four main areas of the application. Common to many existing vehicle dashboards, users can swipe (and in Kasi’s case, use vocal commands) between spaces to focus on one task at a time. Each space has limited interaction options, with simple touch or voice actions to apply.
For branding Kasi Drive, early concepts explored ‘diffraction’ by visualising wave patterns. This was felt to be too intricate and we instead opted for a dot-matrix cube. The cube would in turn embody ‘Kasi’, the AI of Kasi Drive and allow us to present a 3D environment, with shifting perspectives for subtle visual feedback.
Kasi Drive is currently under development and following user testing, it hopes to establish itself as a bridge between the ’now’ and the future, providing drivers of any vehicle, a taste of what’s to come whilst delivering a unique and pleasurable driving experience.