Driving is actually quite complicated. There’s a lot of interaction going on in a car, not only with the dash, but where the car fits into a larger system. For instance, you’re actually part of a large commerce system in a car, paying for parking, gas and toll roads, yet the car doesn’t really help you with that. You have to understand loads of data like speed, surroundings, destinations, time, but the dash generally does very little besides tell you which track is playing. In a car you’re part of countless different networks and sets of experiences and we were after a car that took that into consideration – making the drivers life a little bit simpler.
I was approached by the vehicle designer Uros Pavasovic to work on a concept for the Detroit Car Show about making a networked “simple” car, more of a platform than a car model and customisable with network-ability built right in. The key to simplicity in the design of the vehicle itself, as the car is designed to be able to be manufactured in small scale locally and in a local manner, relying on stripped down manufacturing processes with a weld-free sandwich panel body and customisable, off the shelf components for the rest of the car.
What we came up with is a car that is stripped down, and then rebuilt from the ground up for today’s daily life, not the daily life of a California suburb 50 years ago, taking into account that your driving life is media-based and that navigation systems should work the way you do. Basically the car is part of a driving system, which includes:
The InCar system would naturally be search-centred, and provide easy to use, hands-free options for the driver.
The InCar navigational system would make use of the extensive and powerful feature set of Google Maps, but enhance it and make it more usable for the driver.
The familiar and intuitive InCar dashboard features a stripped down, quick and painless user interface that is easy for the driver as well as the passenger to use. The dashboard itself would be one large screen with minimal fixed buttons which would provide for an extensible and modular information system.
“Internet pay systems”
Pay systems could be integrated into the InCar system to provide drivers with a quick and easy way to pay for everything from parking to road tolls.