top of page
앵커 1

Universal Design, Accessibility, AV

| Design Thesis, MDes 2021

Building Universal Principles

to enhance accessibility to AV-taxis for people with disabilities

Universal Access

to AV-taxis



Solo Project
Design Thesis @UW, MDes 2021

Sept 2020 - June 2021  (9 months)

00 Overview

Challenge &

Design Question

How can AV-taxis, the future of individual mobility, bring benefits to people with disabilities as solo-mobility?

Design Solution

Universal Access Principles

to increase accessibility of new AV-taxis and self-driving cars

Key Learnings

Two layers consist of the journey of AV-taxis must be considered for access to self-driving taxis. Inside and outside of AV-taxis (Physical) and mobile phone applications (Digital)

Three human senses (Tactile, auditory, and visual) are the main senses used in human-machine interactions and must be covered throughout the journey.

Solo mobility of people with disabilities makes enormous social, cultural, and economic differences in a person's life.

01 Preview

Design the accessible robot taxis and guidelines for that

Final Solution

Frame 9.jpg

How to use

Less Word,
Bigger Impact

Loosely woven principles with four keywords give space applicable to all robot taxis that will emerge in various forms in the future.

Guidelines being composed of sentences reinforce principles and provide detailed application points.

Finally, design examples give users a clear understanding of design principles and present practical applications.

Group 69.png

A picture is worth a thousand words

Design Example


Automatic folding seat
to give enough space for motorized wheelchairs or guide dogs


Both-side door opening
& powered- handrail

to support passengers get into the taxi

Three Disabilities &
Three Interfaces

Target Users

Universal Access Principles cover three missing human senses: touch, sight, and hearing.


The three senses above are the three most painful senses for humans when finding a way and using mobile devices. Moreover, each sense connects to three interfaces: display/text, voice assistant, and tactile information.

Group 56.jpg

Digital & Physical

Covered Touchpoints

Group 66.jpg

AV taxis' internal and external physical environment should be considered during a robot taxi journey, but the digital touchpoint to call a taxi should also be covered.


Each principle applies slightly differently with two unique touchpoints (digital and physical), and the universal access principle shows it.

02 Research Methods


Literature Research


Rounds of First person User Journey


End-user Interview


Rounds of Concept Testing/ Co-design


01 Paper Research

Picking draft Principles from existing paper & design research

Group 69.jpg

02 First-person Experience

Figuring out Painpoints and essential two layers of touchpoints

Group 51.jpg

03 Interview End-users

Ideation with hand drawings

Group 8.png
Group 9.png

End-user Interview & Co-design

04 High-fidelity Visualization

Overcome Challenges- Validate Principles

Group 5.png

03 Reflection

01. How to get credible data

"Learning-from-failure framework" 

  • No face-to-face experiments or interviews due to Covid 19

  • No end users and hard to find users to interview because it's a future technology

To overcome the above obstacles, I tried to start interviews using realistic and high-quality rendering examples so that passengers without direct experience could provide sharp and critical feedback. High-fidelity images convey the experience of taking a robot taxi even they've never tried before. Their crucial feedback about the design example helps to solidify design principles.

02. How to convey the concept easily : Golden Path User Journey Video

Group 72.png

03 Next Steps

01. Towards the spectrum of disabilities

How can passengers with a complex and broad spectrum of disabilities use robot taxis rather than one disability?​

Group 75.jpg

02. Open a window to hear criticism

Opens a window where you can easily download the principles and enter feedback so that the Universal Access Principle continues to prove itself.

Group 74.jpg
bottom of page