Automobiles are the foundation of our new generation of mobile-connected devices. Imagine your hands free destination.

I did a study of what is currently happening in the autonomous vehicle industry and came up with some concept designs of what an interface for an app or vehicle dashboard could look like. And while there is an overwhelming amount of information on UX for mobile and desktop devices, defining HMI (Human Machine Interaction) principles seems to be much harder because there are no standard guidelines as of yet.

Role: UX Researcher/ UI/UX Designer

Imagine an app where you can call an autonomous vehicle to come get you wherever, whenever.

User Interface Wireframes

Sounds nice, but what are some of the fundamental challenges that are still not yet allowing us to get there?


Computers are not programmed to deal with uncertainty and despite programmers’ best efforts, there’s still a fundamental problem: cars and people don’t speak the same language. There is too much uncertainty with human driving. 


A challenge of building a self driving car is building an affordable system that the average person will be willing to buy. The systems underlying sensors, radars, cameras and communication devices, are costly compared to older vehicles.

Machine Learning

Programing for safety and practicality often conflict with each other. Programing for the multitude of scenarios that can arise while driving is an insanely difficult task because humans don’t follow the rules of the road perfectly.

Americans also still don’t trust driverless cars. 

Nearly 3 in 4 Americans say autonomous vehicle technology “is not ready for primetime.”

Reuters/Ipsos poll

of Americans say autonomous vehicle technology is not ready for primetime.

said they would never get in a taxi or ride-sharing vehicle that was self-driving.

percent of Americans think autonomous vehicles will never be safe.

percent think the advantages of AVs will outweigh the disadvantages.

percent of Americans are eager to get on a waitlist for the first autonomous vehicles.

So what are top autonomous vehicle companies, and what are they doing?

Self-driving car research has cost over $18 billion. Waymo has spent the most, with an estimated $3.5 billion used to finance its R&D.

“While self-driving technology is maturing quickly, realizing its benefits – particularly for those who need it most – requires that the technology be affordable. This prospect is, in our view, far from certain. Leaving this issue unaddressed risks fostering greater socioeconomic inequality on the nation’s roads.”


Harvard Business Review by Ashley Nunes and Kristen Hernandez
January 31, 2019

The Society for Automotive Engineers (SAE) puts the evolution of self-driving vehicles into five categories: from Level 1, which is totally manual, to Level 5, where the vehicle is fully capable of driving itself without human input.

Level 2 systems currently on the market include the Tesla Autopilot, Cadillac Super Cruise, Mercedes-Benz Drive Pilot, and Volvo Pilot Assist. In 2020 the only vehicle on the market with level 3 autonomous technology presently available to consumers was the Audi A8, although other automakers are working to develop this type of vehicle for release in 2020. As far as level 4 and level 5, no cars are currently on the market at this level for consumer purchase.

No Automation

Zero autonomy. The driver performs all driving tasks such as steering, accelerating, and braking. These vehicles are older models.

Driver Assistance

The vehicle is controlled by the driver, but some driving assistance features like cruise control may be included.

Partial Automation

The vehicle can perform steering and acceleration but the driver still monitors all tasks and can take over at any time.

Conditional Automation

The vehicle can perform most driving tasks, and driver is not required to monitor the environment, but driver override is still required.

High Automation

The vehicle is almost completely autonomous and can perform most driving functions. The driver may have the option to control the vehicle.

Full Automation

The vehicle can perform all driving tasks under all conditions. Zero human attention or interaction is required.

And now, imagine your own autonomous vehicle that will take you anywhere you want, whenever you want. 

This is what I imaged it to look like.

To be continued… please tune back for more.