Shape changing interior for shared autonomous vehicles in 2030


Developed software


With clear benefits, shared autonomous vehicles (AVs) are expected to be the norm in the future. This brings multiple opportunities as well as exciting challenges for us as Industrial Product Designers. How can we make sharing an AV attractive to users? How will this shape the interior of these vehicles? From these questions we identified and defined our design question.

AutoDesk Alias Automotive

Activity: first Master project
Year: current
Duration: half-a-year

Team: Alynne de Haan, Berbelijn Lustenhouwer, Yiyue Qiu

Client: Handmade

This is my current project and still under construction

Thank you for your understanding

Design question

"Which feature
do shared autonomous vehicles need
to make them attractive to users
in 2030?"

The problem

User barriers as found in literature


Users are not willing to share their items as they lack trust in the quality of shared items in suiting their personal and hygienic needs.

Emotional barrier

2/3 of car owners have an emotional connection to their car.


Shared vehicles require additional steps like payment, registration and insurance.

Which feature do we need in a shared AV?

Sketching & clay explorations


We decided to focus on personalizing the interior of shared AVs to create more trust in the quality of the shared item and maybe even create an emotional connection with the user. 

To explore what we personally would prefer for the interior of a shared AV, we started exploring shapes with clay and sketches 


We used sketching as inspiration and clay to explore what that would mean in terms of form for the interior. We found three recurring themes in our explorations:
1. Privacy (cocoon shapes)
2. Comfort (blanket and cave-like shapes)
3. Fun (slides and fun details)

Which feature do our users need?

User evaluation


To learn which themes our users preferred, we conducted five feedback sessions with clay models.


We learned that instead of one specific theme, the users preferred to adjust the interior’s shape according to:
1. Travel destination
2. Length of travel
3. Reason for travel
4. With whom they travel
5. Mood of the user


From the user evaluation we concluded the interior should be shapable by the users to fit the users needs in every situation.

How to shape the interior?

Material exploration & engineering

What materials can be shape-changed and what kind of structure is needed underneath to hold the weight of the users?

User interaction

What kind of interaction would the users have with the interior to shape it to fit their current traveling needs?


How to make this shared AV meet sustainability criteria that we expect (and hope) to be abundant in 2030?

Material exploration & engineering

Cutting patterns

Mechanical joint engineering

Experiential prototype

Structure to keep the users weight with movable balloons

Moving the interior with straws ourselves

Scenario 1: User shapes the interior themselves

Scenario 2: Interior shapes itself following the user's gestures

Currently working on

User testing &
sustainability research &
AutoDesk Alias Automotive

First Alias explorations


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