Autonomous Travel


7 days in March 2016


University Project led by Jan Goelke (Google)


Paul Anker

Industrial Design

Envision a travel experience for the age of autonomous vehicles.


Driverless cares are coming. It is only a matter of time until autonomous driving will be the norm. In this two week course led by Jahn Göhlke (Google Design), I designed a concept for the future road trip. In the first week of user research and field interviews we generated a lot of concepts. Based on the feedback we got in the first week, we decided to go further with a service that allows users to comfortably book a holiday ride with an autonomous vehicle. It should leverage the possibilities autonomous travel and focus on longer trips.

Our high level goals were:

Make trip, in current holiday excursions often times just an unpleasant step, part of the experience.

The vehicle should reflect our intentions in its form and interior.

Create a booking process that is as convenient as possible. Keep decisions at a minimum.




Preference deletion




Generated route

Alternative stops

Route intervention


Filed Interview

The field interview phase should turn out to be especially challenging. The generated feedback wasn’t or did not seem valuable in many cases. Since the task was to conduct a field interview in the city of Potsdam, it was hard to find people that were versed in the concepts of autonomous driving. We learned that to get feedback that genuinely reflects the hopes and aspirations of the people we were designing for, first we would need to introduce them to the aspects of the problem or rephrase the question in a way that does not directly address the issue. From the feedback that we gathered, security played a disproportionately high concern. Most subjects got reduced to this security issue, especially for parents. From the feedback, we got from the field interviews, we decided on our further steps. The higher goals were defined.