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Building trust in autonomous cars

Autonomous vehicles are the future of transportation and one of the main aspects that will hinder wide-spread adoption of this future will have nothing to do with technology itself. It’s rather the human aspect of it, in order for autonomous vehicles to be socially (and psychologically) acceptable they will have to start learning to mimic how humans drive.

Project Knight Rider 

HERE has focused on lot on HD maps for autonomous cars lately and in their latest project titled “Knight Rider” they are showcasing a driving simulator where one can experience autonomous driving and learn to build trust with their machines. The project not only showcases here’s HD maps and 3D city models, it’s also a clear indicator that the mapping company has its sights on being the brain behind the car, which doesn’t come as a surprise considering the shareholders in HERE are BMW, Audi and Daimler (as of now).

It’s interesting to notice the particular scenarios that are discussed in the video aren’t really focussed on a completely autonomous car but instead the simulator is designed to showcase how a semi-autonomous car might work – avoiding collisions, taking over from you in the expressway and changing lanes. Autonomous driving is definitely going to be evolutionary process and not going to be rolled down for the entire world in an overnight update. Okay, Tesla owners don’t count here 🙂


“Swipe to overtake” was probably one of the most interesting features in the video, in the image below, the green triangle is another example of how HUD could help make navigation easier without us having to focus on the navigation dashboard. Pretty neat!


The central map navigation dashboard design looks a bit similar to the small map dashboard in Grand Theft Auto, right? Surely I am not the only one who thinks there is a similarity here 😉


The map overview – HERE Project Knight Rider

I am really excited about “driving” an autonomous car in the near future but the fact is, for many of us to be riding shotgun in a car without a “driver” is going to something that needs getting used to and simulators like the one HERE showcased in their project Knight Rider are going to help the UX engineers refine and improve the experience in an autonomous car and in the short-term future help improve assisted driving features and their ease of use. Project Knight Rider is a clear indicator that HERE wants in on that future and it’s going to be intriguing to see in which direction HERE decides to focus its energy and resources! Go for it HERE 😀

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Slow Down GPS (Child Voice Navigation)

In spite of all the signs and notifications from our navigation applications, sometimes and rather unfortunately, we tend to ignore that we are over the speed limit. Over speeding is especially an issue near schools and other areas where children visit frequently. In Scandinavia, the insurance firm, “If” had released a navigation application that is available on iOS and Android that could help solve this problem! The only difference between the app “Slow Down GPS” and the rest of the apps? – the power in the voice of a child.

Slow Down GPS by If Insurance

At the core of it, the app seems rather simple but it’s a very powerful idea. Slow Down GPS delivers a gentle reminder that will go a long way in making us more attentive in zones where children are around than any other form of notification or visual cue.

SLOW-DOWN-GPS-APPThe app currently works in Sweden, Finland and Norway and the locations of all schools and day care centres in these countries are already included in the app. In addition, they also have a crowdsourced map to help improve the map in order to add more places where children could frequent.

Amazing idea! It would be absolutely fantastic if more navigation apps started using this idea. The world would be a much safer place! 🙂

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