Commute Driving App

Redefining the driving experience for multitaskers


PROBLEM

Let’s face it, we are all careless drivers. We live in a society that encourages us to multitask, unable to resist notifications on our phones. We pull all nighters or come home from busy work days and are too tired to drive.

Nearly 1 in 5 crashes in which someone was injured involved distracted driving.

SOLUTION
We set out to solve this problem by aiming to make drivers more focused on the task at hand. We hope to enrich their driving experience by reducing factors such as stress, fatigue, and their desire to multitask.

MY ROLE

Research, Visual Design, Prototyping, User Testing


TEAM

Catherine Escoto
Emily Adams
Ana Arriaga


SPECIAL THANKS

Stakeholders, user research / testing participants,
and Professor Nelson Wei Tan.




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driving camera driving alerting

Just place your phone in your car dock and start driving! Commute will start on its own and act as an extra safety alert system during your drive.

Commute uses your backfacing camera to sense possible dangers on the road and alerts you if you get too close.


driving rating 4.5 stars

At the end of your drive, Commute will reward your great driving with a rating.


Interact with prototype



Rating

The Research

Stakeholders

PRIMARY

Drivers
Passengers
Psychologists
Police
Automotive UI Designers

SECONDARY

Friends
Families
Handicapped
Navigators
Talkative people
Interviewees
Signage companies
Car manufacturers
Car maintenance
Gas stations
Stores
Urban planners
Street planners
Construction workers
Public transportation
Radio industry
Music Industry

AUDIENCE

Drivers who want to limit distractions to drive more safely

Surveys

49 RESPONSES

We asked drivers about their driving habits, what distracts them, and how often they use their phones while driving.

“I use my phone for maps, Facebook, texting, calling, and Pandora.”

Interviews with professionals

TRAFFIC SAFETY ENGINEERS

Jesse Brister & Ken Salvail


PSYCHOLOGY PROFESSORS

Ken Salvail & Dr. Jeremiah Still


DESIGNERS/ DEVELOPERS

Alison Chaiken

Automotive Software Developer

Steve Pepple

Principal UX/UI Designer at MobileIron

Stephen Mendoza

Automotive UI Designer

“Stress is reduced when drivers are informed.”

Ken Salvail



“We value loved ones’ lives more than our own.”

Dr. Jeremiah Still

Literature Review

We collected data from numerous sources regarding driving behaviors of individuals. We learned that the state of mind has an enormous impact on our driving performance and discovered the fundamental reasons behind the need to multitask and being distracted driving.

“Distracted driving is appropriately described as an epidemic in this country.”

Despina Stavrinos, Ph.D., Researcher at the UAB University Transportation Center.

Personas

We interviewed drivers in person to find out what they find frustrating or stressful about driving. We made sure to interview people who love driving, people who are neutral about driving, and people who hate driving to get diverse perspectives.

We found out that even people who love driving experience similar frustrations as those who hate it. Everyone we talked to hates traffic and get angry when people drive poorly.

We also discovered what they do and what they think about while driving. From these conversations we determined what could improve their driving experience.

derek
DEREK

Age: 23 • Loves driving

Wants to stay focused


zobeida
ZOBEIDA

Age: 18 • Likes driving

Wants to limit distractions


tammy
TAMMY

Age: 27 • Hates driving

Wants to ease her nerves

What do multitasking drivers need?

Factors Involved

WHO IS IT FOR?

Busy multitasking commuters who have difficulty focusing and feel stressed while driving.


WHY IS IT NEEDED?

Most people are busy and are tired while driving. They need something to keep them alert, focused on driving, and be better aware of surroundings to keep their stress levels down. People use several phone functions at once while driving and need an incentive to want to change.

WHERE IS IT NEEDED?

Cities. Commute from home to work or school.


WHEN WOULD IT BE USED?

While driving, mostly during commute hours.


HOW DOES IT SOLVE THE PROBLEM?

We are providing a simple interface to keep you focused on the task of driving by silencing background applications, alerting you of possible dangers, keeping you awake, and rewarding you for your safe driving.

Features

phone plugged in iconLET IT TAKE CARE OF ITSELF

The app will automatically start when you place it on your dashboard and start driving so you don’t have to do any work.


awake iconSTAY AWAKE

When your driving is impaired, your music or a sound will blast for a few seconds to help keep you alert.


tracking chart iconTRACK YOUR PROGRESS

See how your driving has changed through progress graphs recorded immediately after you finish driving..


money tag iconGET INCENTIVE

Earn a good driver rating to get a discount on your auto insurance.

map and music iconUSE SEVERAL APPS

Your navigation and music applications will seamlessly work alongside commute.


alert iconBECOME MORE AWARE

Using the back-facing camera on your phone, the application will alert you of possible dangers (cars, pedestrians, cyclists).


focus iconSTAY FOCUSED

Your background notifications will be hidden during your drive to keep from getting distracted.


video iconRECORD VIDEO

Use commute as a black box video recording unit and have video evidence in case of accidents.

Information Architecture

Information Architecture

Competitive Analysis

Competitive Analysis

Visualizing a less stressful drive

The goal of this app is to minimize distractions while driving so the main visual style we were inspired by is minimalism. We found that clean icons hide and fonts would work best for this purpose. We also found examples of augmented reality that feature high contrast light text and shapes overlayed on the real-world environment. This app should not only keep drivers focused on the road but also provide a less stressful driving experience. We found that blurred photographs, friendly colors, and rounded shapes are most calming.

How do we visualize a less stressful drive?

Initial Wireframes

Initial Wireframes

Style Iterations

We executed different looks for our app that are calming, minimalist, and friendly and asked users how they felt about each option. We got some mixed answers but the majority chose the last one.

Users like the look and feel of the photograph with the gradient overlay. Some said it was more welcoming while others just found it nicer to look at. Ultimately we went with this more popular option and blurred the background image to increase legibilty. We also included the colorful button colors from the second option to guide the users through the app.

Style Iterations

Driving Tests

We thought of various ways to show alerts when there is a potential danger on the road and tested effectiveness through driving tests.

We played a video on a phone docked on the dashboard that has red overlays to show that the driver is getting too close to a car. If the driver gets dangerously close, the application will beep. We included several throughout the video to see if drivers noticed the alerts from their peripheral vision. Everyone did except for one user who was wearing sunglasses. With this feedback, we revised the alerts to have a red overlay over the entire screen and for it to blink to catch the driver’s attention.

We also tested a sound meant to wake up the drivers if they drift out of their lane. The users were startled by the sound but affirmed that it would definitely wake them up if they were actually falling asleep. We changed the sound to one that was less threatening and more closely resembles an alarm clock.

Driving Tests



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