During this three day project, we explored how haptic and audio feedback could be integrated into a driverless car of the future.

We approached the car as a membrane between the external surroundings and the internal passenger environment and prototyped a system that filtered information through this membrane using vibration and sound. The strength and rhythm of the vibration correlate with the conditions of the immediate environment, conveying an additional level of information to the passenger.

Upon arrival at the passenger’s destination, touching the membrane releases information in waves of vibration, sound and light. Low energy surroundings, such as calm sunny days, create light tremors and slow, soothing sounds. More turbulent weathers or busy streets create more dramatic vibrations and urgent sounds.

We also prototyped a danger filter, building off a future where open API’s and public reporting of events would be more widespread. Sudden, unexpected changes that may be hazardous, such as a nearby break-in, could be conveyed to the passenger through sharp vibrations and accompanying alert sounds. A light indicated on the membrane could also show the orientation of danger relative to the position of the vehicle.