Apple

Designing for the first Apple Car

Role

Duration

Work

Location

Product Design

November - December

2023 (5 weeks)

Research, Interaction, Product.

ArtCenter College of Design, Pasadena, CA.

Aim

How might we solve current pain points in the mobility experience with Apple’s ecosystem?

Context

Think Different

“Live Different”

A new era for Apple

Every Apple product launch has redefined consumer goods. Same will happen with VisionPro and soon after with their first vehicle under Project Titan.


We envisioned what features this game-changer car could bring in line with Apple's ecosystem. The result is a story-driven interface, highlighting the vehicle's potential for a frictionless, inclusive, and empowering future.

Research

The automotive industry traditionally emphasizes functionality, often involving experience designers late in development. However, with tech giants like Apple entering, a shift is expected. Envisioning a greater role for early-stage experience designers, our approach prioritizes a user-centric model. We initiate with comprehensive user research and scenario design before delving into detailed product and functionality development.


To initiate our research we conducted a parallel study on Electric Vehicle (EV) users and the current landscape of the EV market.

User Research

To initiate our research we conducted a parallel study on Electric Vehicle (EV) users and the current landscape of the EV market.


We recognize EVs as the forefront of automotive technology, pushing the boundaries of in-car experiences.


EV users, are early adopters, actively engage in exploring the potential of their rides—both before, during, and after the vehicle's operation.

I search in the phone maps app at home and then in the car screen again when I get to the car.

I rarely use my car’s mobile app to control my car other than checking battery range. It’s too much trouble.

Even though my Nio has a big center screen, sometimes I still use my phone for navigation and messaging because it’s easier and quicker.

I feel like an EV is indeed the worst investment because I don’t use it for the majority of time in a day and it deprecates quickly in value.

I love my car, but I sometimes take the metro or ride-share just so I can read and answer emails while commuting.

After interviewing 8 EV drivers their needs were clear:


Users expect smoother experience transition in/out of vehicle.


Users want their commute time to be more productive, given that it’s safe.


Users prefer more out of an EV


Competitor Research

To understand the current paradigm of EV market, we conducted first-hand research on 13 EV cars.

After first hand experiencing what is out there in the industry we concluded:


Connecting our devices to the cars was full of friction.


Autonomous brings a lot of possibilities for the in-car experience.


When the car is turned off theres no use for it.


During the research we kept thinking what changes apple could bring to the game and improve our changes?


Our next step was to research Apple’s ecosystem and see where the brand is going in order to recognize possible paths their car will go towards.

Brand Research on Apple Ecosystem

Apple’s vision is committed to bringing the best user experience to its customers through its innovative hardware, software and services solutions with innovative design, superior ease-of-use and seamless integration.


Their robust ecosystem evolves around four areas: hardware, software, services, and infrastructure. This interconnected web acts as a powerful drive to retain users from end to end.


Apple car will cover all four parts of this ecosystem, and tightly tie with everything else.

After first hand experiencing what is out there in the industry we concluded:


Connecting our devices to the cars was full of friction.


Autonomous brings a lot of possibilities for the in-car experience.


When the car is turned off theres no use for it.


Focus Areas

We grouped our findings into three main areas where we see a lot of potential for solving current pain points.

Universal Control

Text Message

Continuity Camera

Sidecar

AirPlay

Hotspot

Hotspot

Airdrop

Seamless Integration

Spatial Computing

Apple Ecosystem

Resume

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2024