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Title: Empowering the front-seat passenger : design and experience prototyping of luxury infotainment systems through VR simulation
Author: Sen, G.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7970 4413
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2019
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Automotive user interfaces have been designed within the limitations of driving activity. Therefore, there has been a lack of infotainment solutions that target the front-seat passenger as another car occupant with his/her own needs, interests and capabilities. This research is built on the motivation of empowering the front-seat passengers in luxury car journeys through infotainment systems. It handles front-seat passenger's empowerment through the investigation of how a pleasant and luxury infotainment experience is manifested via new functionalities and interactions. This research tackles the challenge of understanding how these unprecedented infotainment solutions will add to front-seat passenger's travel experience with experience prototyping through VR simulation. It follows the 'research through design approach' by i) presenting a design proposal for the front-seat passenger infotainment system, ii) developing a VR simulation to communicate the infotainment system interactions within a travel scenario in an immersive way, and iii) conducting experience prototyping study where participants reflect on the design proposal (VR simulation) through administration of mixed data collection methods including semantic differential questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. To achieve the above-mentioned objectives, the research makes use of an extensive literature on User Experience (UX)-Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Automotive UX, Luxury Marketing, and Simulation. The synthesis of the UX and marketing literature enables deconstruction of pleasant and luxury user experience into a set of qualities/metrics to be referred in design and design evaluation. The synthesis of aesthetics of interaction studies in the UX literature helps to categorize the diverse aspects of the infotainment system. The analysis of the academic and industrial efforts to empower front-seat passengers through automotive user interfaces is used for identification of promising technologies and trends for the infotainment system. The literature review on experience prototyping with VR constitutes a reference in prototyping-related decisions and using VR as part of the user study. The thesis finally presents the analysis of the experience prototyping study through i) the quantitative representation and discussion of the diverse aspects of the infotainment system (functionalities and interaction aesthetics) that play role in delivery of the various qualities of luxury experience, ii) structured analysis of the participants' suggestions for the system with specification of the underlying motivations and iii) development of a framework that conceptualizes the front-seat passengers' changing role and relations with the infotainment system. Based on these investigations of the link between the infotainment system aspects and the participants' expectations/concerns, the research concludes with key design considerations and recommendations for the future (luxury) front-seat passenger-oriented infotainment system solutions. It also presents recommendations for integration of VR simulation into future car HMI appraisals by reflecting on the experience prototyping study conducted as part of the PhD research.
Supervisor: Jump, Mike ; Sener-Pedgley, Bahar Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral