Autonomous vehicles are changing the automotive design game. When there’s no need for a driver’s seat, a steering wheel, or even windows to the outdoors, automotive design can be transformed. With no driver, vehicles become rolling offices, commuter spas, and even delivery bots transporting goods right to your front door. Let’s take a look at three of the ways autonomous vehicles are changing how we think about automotive design:

Designed From the Inside Out

With no need to consider a traditional driver’s seat, with high visibility or access to controls and steering, automotive design is ostensibly freed up. New, autonomous vehicles aren’t tied to traditional design concepts. Instead of designing with exterior constraints in mind, vehicles can be created in any shape or size, opening up design options to truly focus on the interior first.

Designers now have the capability to consider the user. Whether the focus is to deliver a space to relax on the way to work, hold meetings on the go, or even get work done on a morning commute, autonomous technology is now allowing designers to build vehicles from the inside out, rather than the other way around.

Designed for Moving Goods, Not People

When we think of autonomous vehicles, it’s easy to think of self-driving cars. But autonomous vehicle technology has a much broader application. Our roads are full of vehicles that transport food, packages, and other goods. Autonomous vehicle design has the potential to revolutionize the way we get groceries, the way we receive mail and packages, and so much more. There are already companies making waves in the autonomous delivery markets, and trends like these are sure to change the way we see and design transportation vehicles.

For example, delivery vehicles have the opportunity to become much smaller, as they have no need for a human driver. They need only fit the goods to be delivered, saving space on the road, and the energy it would’ve taken to power a much larger vehicle.

Shuttles, Buses, and Taxis

Before autonomous technology, transit vehicles needed to be large to maximize capacity, while minimizing the number of operators. Trams and buses could only be deployed when there was a driver to direct them. With autonomous vehicle technology, rideshare vehicles aren’t dependent on a driver. They can be deployed whenever a user requests a ride.

This opens up a wealth of design possibilities, from making vehicles smaller and more streamlined to again designing from the inside out, with the user in mind. Rideshare vehicles designed for commuters can feature tables, workspaces, and more, without the extra space that would’ve been necessary for a driver.

The future of automotive and autonomous vehicle design is exciting. From developing new ridesharing vehicles to grocery delivery applications, there is much to be discovered. Fredricks Design is at the forefront of autonomous vehicle design, and we would love to help you develop your next project. For unexpected design solutions that deliver on form and function, give us a call.

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