With the explosion of consumer and company interest in autonomous vehicles (AVs), the market has been secured. By 2035, approximately 50% of the US vehicle fleet will consist of Level 4 autonomy. But what does this mean for public safety? How will our women and men in blue adapt to this inevitable shift in human transportation? For this project, I was hired as an in-house UX consultant on a cross-functional team of industrial and UI designers to investigate and conceptualize the impact that AVs will have on public service. With our help, the company learned how to innovate quickly and begin strategizing their role in the future of policing.
Design Sprint Facilitation
Employing structured innovation process, our team began talking to with police officers to understand the relationship they have with their vehicles, converted knowledge into insight, and proposed a research-backed design framework. Mapping the primary, secondary, and tertiary stakeholders allowed us to communicate the complexity of the space, while also examining other groups that may be affected by autonomous vehicles.
We ran a week long design sprint, getting the whole office involved, to conceptualize the future cadence of an officer's routine. Through rapid ideation exercises, white-boarding, and affinity mapping, we provided our peers with concrete examples of what rapid innovation looked and felt like - delivering actionable insights to design from.
Analyzing the cadence and high cognitive load of an officer's routine, we helped envision how a vehicle could automate certain tasks (like paperwork), and allow the officer to operate more efficiently, and humanely.
By supporting the officer in communication, documentation, and resolution, the Autonomous Police Vehicle (APV) interface was designed to automate. Remote video briefings in the morning could allow officers to star their shift quicker while still being connected to their support systems.
In this future, the APV plays a much larger role in an officer's effectiveness as a public servant. However, more than just additional utility, we must design these APVs to collaborate.
In a future likely powered by AI and virtual assistants, these vehicles will transition roles from being a passive tool to an active agent. Designing for this future requires considerations for how automated technologies can live symbiotically within the modern cadence of an officer's day. Not too intrusive, but there when you need it.
By employing a structured and rapid innovation process, we engendered a leaner design process in the company's culture, brought tangible recommendations to the table for how to design for this autonomous future, and visualized a potential future of public service.