Tesla Motors is rolling out Auto Pilot technology that is safer than humans driving themselves. However, the Tesla brand is currently seen as a car for middle-aged technocratic male elites. Our challenge was to make this technology user friendly for a 60+ year old demographic—a potential market of over 50 million drivers. Our goal was to augment the Tesla driving experience so that baby boomers would trust a car full of technology that feels too complex. The concept was based on our insight that our target audience was far more likely to buy an auto pilot enabled Tesla if it had a driver customizable, lo-tech and familiar design that fosters trust.
We created an experience that lets users gain a playful glimpse of an auto-driven future. This was brought to life through the use of analogue dials, skeuomorphic controls, simplified and contextual sized info graphics and real-world language built into the HMI. This resulted in a warm, comfortable and most importantly safe experience for the user.
Our process was pretty straightforward: Research, Analysis, Design, Test, Repeat.
We had the additional challenge of user-testing functionality that Tesla hadn't yet released. On a vehicle we weren't budgeted to purchase.
We analyzed the market, conducted a survey and interviews. From our research, we built out three personas: Benjamin, Tiffany & Don. Our research indicated that 42% of our target demographic was over the age of 45. The sheer size of this market combined with the loss of mobility that many older people experience when they can no longer drive, led us to conclude that this market was most in need of autopilot enabled vehicles. We chose to develop and test our prototypes accordingly.
A typical day in the life of our user, Don.
Don needed an interface that he could understand-and most importantly one that he could talk to.
We built out the lo-fi.
Testing the lo-fi led us to an obvious-but-we-missed-it result: Our Tesla needed a start button.
Incorporating our user feedback we created Hi-fi version of the prototype that we used to test our hypothesis.
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