In this project for the Daimler research department we investigated the communicative potential of reactive surfaces to support collaboration between humans and autonomous vehicles.

Autonomous machines are very nosy: they collect a lot of data of their environment without sharing what and why. Our hypothesis is that if we constantly share status and intent of the system we can build a shared understanding and trust allowing to coexist, interact and even collaborate. The need to display was translated into the mental model of a membrane and motion as the medium to communicate. Why? Motion stimuli directly appeal to our lizard brain: motion information is processed – without the detour of reasoning – even in the periphery of our field of vision. We created different motion patterns and explored the wealth of expressions and their semantic connotations.

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