The Psychological and Statistical Design Method for Co-creation Applications in Chinese Automotive Market

Paper #:
  • 2017-01-0650

Published:
  • 2017-03-28
Abstract:
The automotive industry is dramatically changing. Stringent emission regulations and rising cost of energy push Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to adopt aftertreatment equipment and make a vehicle powertrain system more efficient to save consumers’ operation cost. Many OEMs proposed new prototype models or concept designs to promote green vehicle image. However, it is still challenging for an OEM to check whether consumers really accept new designs without sales data. Non-traditional player in the automotive industry bring many latest technology in the Information Technology (IT) industry to the automotive industry. Typical vehicle’s characteristics became wider compared to those of a decade ago including not only a drive range, mileage per gallon and acceleration rating, but also many features adopted in the IT industry, such as easy usability, connectivity, vehicle software upgrade capability and backward compatibility. Consumers expect the latest technology features in vehicles as they enjoy in using digital applications in laptops and mobile phones. These features create a huge challenge for a design of new vehicle, especially for an interface between a driver and a vehicle control device or system. A typical New Product Introduction (NPI) cycle in the automotive industry may range between two or five years, but rapidly changing technology in the IT industry may evolve into a next generation in just three to six months. The traditional design methodologies in the automotive industry usually require clear boundary conditions before a team can develop a device or system in a vehicle and the definition of boundary conditions are based on empirical data or market survey results. For example, Many OEMs utilize Quality Function Deployment (QFD) to transform customer needs into the design of engineering functions and detailed parameters. However, due to the intersection of the automotive industry and the IT industry, the boundary conditions for an interface system between a driver and a machine became unstable, and it is risky to design an interface system based on the assumption that the boundary conditions will not change during the NPI cycle. With the fast growing autonomous technologies, a modern vehicle may have a totally different driver-machine interface compared to traditional cars. With more and more disruptive technologies are introduced in the automotive industry, customers’ voices also became blurring. Sometimes, the majority of customers won’t know a future trend and whether they will like these changes. The design which purely relies on the history data or market survey may lose the foresight. This paper discusses a design method for a modern vehicle’s interface system between a driver and machine. A persona is introduced in the design process and co-creation is utilized to generate design options. An optimized solution is finally selected based on psychological and statistical analysis. A design case for Chinese Automotive market is also elaborated in the paper as an example.
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