Conversational UIĀ for Autonomous Vehicles

In the mid future, autonomous cars will be the main form of transportation. What role can an in-car conversational UI play in improving the passenger experience? We designed this VUIĀ concept for international first-year students arriving in Pittsburgh for college for the first time.

Collaborators: Suzanne Nie, Scarlett Shi, Proud Taranat

My Contribution

I directed the creation of a user journey map, designed the out-of-car detour portion of the conversational interface, and created much of the team's final process documentation.


Conversational Design
User Journey Mapping
Interaction Design


4 weeks


Hana is an international freshman student from Japan, arriving in America for the first time. She is feeling tired from her flight, but curious to know about the city and potentially stop by a local attraction or two. Hana is going to stay in a hotel for the time being, but plans to move onto her on-campus dorm within several days.

Journey Mapping

Visually mapping out Hana's actions, pain points, and opportunities helped narrow our scope to the middle of her journey - starting from when the car picks her up at the airport and ending when she is dropped off at her hotel for the night.

Script Refinement Process

I designed the out-of-car detour role of the AI, to be triggered if Hana wanted to stop her ride and visit a local attraction. Figuring out the degree to which the CUI would collaborate with Hana was the biggest challenge.

Initial Script

At first, I focused on the specifics of planning a visit. However, upon roleplaying Hana and testing this version, it was apparent that the questions asked were too specific and not within Hana's knowledge (such as the specific attraction she'd want to visit, something she wouldn't know in a completely new city).

Thinking About Co-Creation

While Hana might not want to plan every specific in an impromptu detour, it would make sense for her to direct the CUI in planning, with the specifics, such as attraction suggestions and exact times, handled by the CUI in the background.

Final: Flexibility in Collaboration

The final CUI flow interprets Hana's confidence in planning, and adjusts to guide her more or less based on how she replies. Our current script is a great starting point for crafting an overall riding experience, including visuals such as AR tooltips as well as other sensory elements.


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