You need a wide range of the greatest technological abilities to create the future self-driving automobile, including software and car engineers, artificial intelligence and sensor technology specialists, computer scientists, and production specialists, to name a few.
Anthropology, a field you would not associate with design, is, nevertheless, playing a significant role in the creation of Nissan’s next-generation autonomous vehicle. They study how people interact with other drivers to ensure the vehicle is ready to be a “good citizen” on the road. Further studies would lead to Automotive Design Engineer, granting a more detailed view.
Anthropology And Autonomous Car Design
According to Melissa Cefkin, a lead scientist and design anthropologist at the Nissan Research Center in Silicon Valley, Car technology is constantly advancing and evolving. She continued, “And now we’re adding this autonomous part. “That will result in even greater societal changes, even down to how we behave and interact with one another while driving every day.”
Names like Gregory Bateson, Margaret Mead, and Claude Levi-Strauss may spring to mind when you hear the phrase “anthropologist.” But Cefkin is a very contemporary anthropological. She has experience in the business and design fields and is a specialist in ethnography, conducting in-depth research on a person’s culture from that person’s perspective.
Cefkin explained that in the case of self-driving cars, this entails taking a fresh look at how people engage with the vehicle—which she described as “a fundamentally and profoundly cultural object”—and understanding how new technology might perceive or react to those interactions.
In the next ten years, some features featured in the film, such as a light that “acknowledges” the presence of a pedestrian, may resemble those on Nissan’s self-driving cars, according to Cefkin. The team is also investigating ways to determine the car’s desires when “many agents” present, such as many people walking or riding bicycles. The trick would be to discover a means to express what the car is doing, such as “stopping, waiting, yielding, about to go, going, and other such things,” in a way that everyone would comprehend.
Involving anthropologists in the early stages of car design, as opposed to making adjustments later in the product cycle as some other manufacturers have done, Cefkin said, is wise.
The third stage of Nissan’s initiative to create self-driving cars involves allowing the vehicles to navigate cities and intersections without the driver needing to take any action. Cefkin and the other members of her team are working on this step.
After the introduction of “ProPILOT,” Nissan’s first self-driving technology, in July 2016, this system is anticipated to launch in 2020. The “ProPILOT” self-driving technology, which will be available in 2018, is intended for usage on highways with single-lane traffic. It also has a “multiple-lane” application that can handle hazards and change lanes while driving on the highway.
“What’s different about us is that we’re working at the core of the technology and putting our insights and knowledge about how people work and what they go through right into the design of the system’s core,” she said. People also look out for Autocad Mechanical Course if they wish to learn more about how to add better features to cars.