UX at Hardware

Every car on road is not Tesla, so we are getting small tweaks in non-Tesla cars for assistive driving. One such case is when you miscalculate the next turn and will end up in an accident.

This is where AI comes in and does course correction (literally this time). Make the steering wheel go in anti-direction to compensate for the error. In engineers' mind, this solution makes total sense.

If we zoom in, we see micro-actions. There's a small pause when this shift happens. The driver will think for a moment to understand what just happened, why the car is not behaving the way I instructed. Soon driver will understand that AI is getting in the way, but still, there's a micro-moment of confusion.

That's what Toyota is solving with the latest patent US11254343B1 (approved last week). They will not move the steering wheel in anti-direction. Instead, they will change the friction between the driver's hand and the steering wheel. What's the advantage, your brain won't take a micro-break to understand the behaviour.

The solution is to remove a few milli-seconds of confusion! UX at the hardware level.

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