Project Description

Project Introduction

This project is concerned with the concept design of an automotive environment. The students will look at the Form Design of the exterior Cabin Design; explore the Interior human capsule, seating and interaction. The project should come up with a completed concept, presented with 3D models and interaction scenarios.

Project, Objectives and Opportunities for Competency Development


The project concentrates on form development, user interaction and the realisation of a design concept. This is the design of the exterior cabin, the interior human capsule and the interaction controls and communications and a complete ‘intelligent cockpit concept’. This should be considered as an adaptive environment where the physical objects and visual information provide experience interaction – as sensory communications – as the total cockpit experience. Also showing how the cabin is adaptive to the environment.

A key interactive design focus will be on communication and emotions, exploring the ‘perceptual coupling’ between human physical movement, to create intelligent design concepts for visual and tactile feedback. (Communication inside and outside the Cabin)


Define project plan with design activities for each designer, working together during the development a complete design concept for final development and specification. This plan needs to show a timeline with design activities,expert meetings,client meetings, design coach reviews, etc.


The product design should look at the driver's activities in the cockpit, describe all the different scenarios for drivers in the cab, how they work, eat and sleep. How do they communicate with each other, to other drivers, to information systems. See the automotive context as a ‘total experience’ – driving, resting, communicating.

Research interaction design within human capsules in aircraft, spacecraft, specifically tangible interfacing, look at how people loose themselves in "flow", how they get immersed in the driving. Research physical sensors for interaction, seat movements, hand/arm/feet movements, direction orientation through movement.

Explore new forms especially tangible interfacing – feedback through the physical controls and objects. Research new visual display technologies, research other sensory feedback methods for adaptive environments (for all the senses, auditory, visual, tactile, ). Research how they could be used in a cockpit. Get into the technology of picking-up signals, emitting information etc.

Look at the lighting conditions, changing weather, country and urban conditions, lighting for moods and lighting for information. Look at all the other visual and environmental experienced during journeys – what is the effect of speed – how slow, how fast –

Look at information flow, how do you exchange information with others. Controlled information of performance status, navigation information, emotions and medical (tiredness) status, music and entertainment, structuring this performance information as data ‘driving profiles’

Concept Development

From understanding the driver’s experience and communications construct ideas, sketch designs, for the interior environment and exterior concept, with ideas for technologies and applications for improved experiences.

Concept Interior Capsule Design: Interior scenarios, sketches, VR models Human positioning, operational zones, visual zones, interaction zones, etc Perceptual coupling of these activities to design the experiences:


Interim Meetings with the Client

Cockpit Design Development and Model build, with animation to show changes with environment. Full VR demonstration, synchronisation of environment media

Interior Capsule Intelligent Design Experience Full VR demonstration, synchronisation of interior interaction media to demonstrate the experiences.

Final Presentation

Client Information

Bertrand Janssen is a Senior Manager responsible for Design at Mercedes in Stuttgart, current focus for Truck Design. He has significant experience in the automotive industry and will intoduce considerable vision to this automotive and communications project.

Recent report from Mercedes Transport Exhibition: In line with the motto “Méér dan Transport alleen”, Mercedes-Benz presented itself at this year’s European Road and Transport Show RAI in Amsterdam. Highlights at the commercial vehicle show: the choice of the Actros as “Truck of the Year 2004” and the premiere of the new Vito.

The venue could not have been more appropriate: at the 27th European Road and Transport Show RAI, the Actros was awarded the title “Truck of the Year 2004”. A jury consisting of 18 international transport journalists from 18 European countries picked the best truck: the outstanding cab comfort, the driving characteristics and the economic efficiency of the new Actros convinced the jury to the full. The “Truck of the Year” award, which will embellish many an Actros radiator grille in future, was awarded for the 28th time in 2003.

The public interest shown in the presentation of the Actros at the European Road and Transport Show in Amsterdam was correspondingly great. The “Actros Driver’s Experience Room” let the visitors experience up-close everything that has been improved in the Actros cab. This was particularly popular with the drivers – as was the sectional model of the Actros, which allowed the professionals to take a closer look at a host of technical details. For many drivers, this was a good opportunity to inform themselves, exchange ideas with colleagues and to talk shop with the experts from Mercedes-Benz

List of Available Resources/Experts

Manfred Nitch - Form Building& Concept Development
Jun Hu – Artificial Intelligence & Computerscience
Lucian Reindl – Automotive Design
Stephan Wensveen – Interaction Design
Kees Overbeeke – Design Expression and Form
Jacques Terken – Integrated Voice and Visual Communications
Sietske Klooster – Design for Movement
Nico Kamperman – Design for Production and Making
Tom Djajadiningrat -tangible interaction
Joep Frens – tangible interaction and visual interaction

Visit: Mercedes in Stuttgart.




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