In the future of autonomous cars, not much would change on the passenger end of the ride-sharing platforms. Hence, I narrowed my user group to the service providers (car owners and cab drivers) as this experience will change with technology.
To validate the hypothesis I divided the research among 3 segments Consumer, Technology and Business.
Understanding the user's goals, experience and needs.
Study existing technology to understand future possibilities.
Understanding the existing market structure and trends.
I started by speaking with car owners and cab drivers to understand the car ownership and ride-sharing experience. It was important as this helped in crafting an experience that catered to the needs and motivations of the service providers.
Apart from self-driving cars, I explored other existing technologies to find opportunities that could add to the experience of car ownership. I observed that all these platforms need active human involvement.
With autonomous cars the need for human drivers to be physical present in the cars would not be required. This will have a negative impact on the existing work force which would loose it’s source of income. A lot of drivers mentioned it will be difficult to sustain on a single income from their regular jobs if the extra income from ride-sharing is stopped.
After gathering the data, I mapped out all the content to synthesize the insights and find the opportunity areas.
1. Informed Decision Making:
Create a smart system that helps the user in making informed decisions.
2. Financial Stability:
The car owners needs to be aware about the finance involved and the benefits at every stage.
3. Easy Management:
Creating a platform that makes ride sharing and management easy for car owners.
4. Under Utilized Car:
To help the car owners monetize their car when it is not being used.
Aton would directly collaborate with autonomous car manufacturing companies to give subscription based services for car owners when they purhchase the car. This helps in including the existing workforce of drivers to have an opportunity to be a part of the new system.
The mobile experience is crafted to cater to 2 primary needs of the user - Ride Sharing and Car Management.
In autonomous ride sharing the user can schedule when they want the car to go for rides according to their schedule. Over the time the system gets smarter and points out certain patterns and opportunities for the user to achieve their financial goals.
The car can drive itself to charging stations in free time and save the user from an additional task and time.
With minimum human intervention to define certain parameters, the car will manage it’s own parking after dropping off the user or even while in ride sharing mode.
Diving into this topic, a lot of information was available about the working and safety of an autonomous car but not a lot in terms of how the user experience would change. So it was really interesting to deep dive into a topic with fewer resources and try to predict what the future could be by studying the current system and trends. Also due to the timeline of the project, I could only explore the mobile touchpoint of the experience, but with more time I would love to think about the experience and physical interaction between the user and the car which I believe would change drastically. The most important learning for me has been in the research stage where I learned about studying the market eco-system and technologies along with user research.
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