An investigation into design engineering aspects of a shared autonomous micro vehicle concept
Authors: Devina Manoeva, Sigrid Salzer, Stephan Schmidt
Abstract: Future transport will require fundamental changes if we are to tackle the climate crisis efficiently. Autonomous vehicles could play a crucial role as alternatives for private cars without hindering basic individual transport needs. That is especially true for the first and last mile, which is not covered by the public transport network. The scientific project AuRa (“Autonomes Rad”, engl. autonomous bicycle) comes in here. It develops a use case in which an electrified three-wheeled cargo bike will become an on-demand, shared autonomous vehicle for the city. The present work in progress focuses on the development of a user-centered design for such a vehicle. Recently, there has been a growing interest to illustrate the potential early involvement of future users can have on the successful introduction of new products. A better understanding of user needs, behavior, and expectations could inform de-signers and enable them to develop products that better correspond with the true needs of users. For the investigation into design engineering aspects of the future concept, a qualitative method was selected. A series of moderated discussions (focus groups) were conducted with potential users. The main goal was to investigate features regarding safety, comfort, personalization, and interaction, which enable comfortable usage for the user and might increase the acceptance of the vehicle. The results were used to inform engineering designers and support the further development of the next prototype of the autonomous cargo bike.
Keywords: Micro-Vehicles, User-centered Design, Focus Groups
Cite this paper: