This project started with a material research simultaneously with a user co-creation session method. CUE is an interactive armrest for in an autonomous car covered with a smart textile to create a novel shape-changing UI that enables a user to communicate their driving style wishes to the agent of such a car.
Figure  showcases a moving platform with actuators and capacitive sensors. Feedback was given to the user by gentle pushing of the mechanisms.
Figure  showcases material explorations for the smart textile.
Figure  showcases me programming and functional testing of the design.
CUE is the mediator between a fully autonomous Car, its User and the Environment. It utilises shape change in order to inform the user of the driving behaviour and allows one to influence this behaviour by altering the surface. Thereby, CUE creates a symbiosis of the programmed behaviour of the car, the restrictions of the environment, and the wishes of the user.
Figure  showcases a conceptual framework of CUE that explains how the car user and environment continuum interacts.
Through movement, CUE shows the car’s demeanour.
The surface moves in a wavelike flow; a quick flow in the driving direction represents aggressive behaviour: quick acceleration and speed in corners. The slower the movement, the calmer the behaviour of the car. Light, originating from underneath the surface, informs the user on the state of the system. When the light is coloured white, CUE is informing the user on the demeanour of the car. When the user wants to interact with the system, he places his hand on top in order to connect with the system. The light then colours blue to show that the system is now in a submissive state. At this point, the user can show his preferences by enhancing the moving flow, the user can show that he wants the car to be more aggressive. By moving against the wave, the flow will be slowed down, calming the car’s demeanour.
Figure  showcases the CAD model of the mechanisms of the prototype.
Figure  showcases the circuit diagram of the design.
figure showcases a user test with an early prototype.
The code of the project can be found here: ArduinoCode