Redefining the driving experience in an autonomous future

Future driving experience - tangerine

What will the future of transportation look like, what might the driving experience be, will we even recognise it?

Much is being written about the future of the automotive industry and driverless cars in particular. Clearly, the market landscape for the automotive industry is changing dramatically as the sector moves evermore towards an autonomous future. This shift presents exciting opportunities for brands to reinterpret the customer experience and the relationship between vehicle, space and the passenger.

At tangerine, we have been working over the years with various clients in the industry to explore how brands can adapt their service to meet new demands and to define a new ‘driving’ experience. We are thrilled to now be able to share with you some of the exciting work we have been doing in this sector.

Our latest invention, patented by Toyota, is a morphing steering wheel. The wheel is an aspect of a vehicle that has captured the imagination of many manufacturers in the industry, but often with limited real innovation.

“We see so many designs for steering wheels that look like they have come off the set of a science fiction film!”, explains Yuichi Ishihara, tangerine’s Head of Japan Business and Creative Lead. “We wanted to design a wheel that’s firmly of this world but still has the power to disrupt the market.”

The challenge was how to create a new steering wheel format, that marries the joy of driving with the new opportunities that autonomous driving brings to the mobility experience. tangerine’s design solution disrupts the traditional circular form of a steering wheel, by creating a mechanism that folds it away. In its’ folded position the steering wheel signals the operational state of the vehicle to the occupants and provides additional space in the foot well.

Toyota steering wheel patent - tangerine

By applying lessons learnt from designing for adjacent industries, such as aviation, rail, retail and consumer electronics, tangerine has been helping automotive clients to unlock key insights into the future of driving. The aim has been to anticipate the potential future needs and behaviours of both drivers and passengers, to create a vision for the best possible customer experience.

At this point in time we are only able to share a glimpse of the work we are doing in this area. So, keep your eyes peeled for more from us in the future!

“Working within the automotive industry to unlock future innovation is really exciting, it gives us as designers the chance to push boundaries and go beyond current expectations for transportation”, says Ishihara. “Who knows where these concepts will go, but it’s certainly thrilling to help our clients shape the future of their industry.”

New Toyota steering format - tangerine

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