Universal Design, Accessibility, AV
| Design Thesis, MDes 2021
Building Universal Principles
to enhance accessibility to AV-taxis for people with disabilities
Design Thesis @UW, MDes 2021
Sept 2020 - June 2021 (9 months)
How can AV-taxis, the future of individual mobility, bring benefits to people with disabilities as solo-mobility?
Universal Access Principles
to increase accessibility of new AV-taxis and self-driving cars
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.
Design the future robot taxis accessible
How to use
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.
A picture is worth a thousand words
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 &
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.
Digital & Physical
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
Rounds of First person User Journey
Rounds of Concept Testing/ Co-design
01 Paper Research
Picking draft Principles from existing paper & design research
02 First-person Experience
Figuring out Painpoints and essential two layers of touchpoints
03 Interview End-users
Ideation with hand drawings
End-user Interview & Co-design
04 High-fidelity Visualization
Overcome Challenges- Validate Principles
01. How to get credible data
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
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?
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.