November 2019

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Shared Spaces

Automated Buildings to Autonomous Vehicles
Sudha Jamthe

Sudha Jamthe

Sudha Jamthe is the CEO of IoT Disruptions and teaches AIX, designing for AI course on

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As cars become autonomous, they will be more expensive than the human-driven cars we drive today. Shared mobility with rideshare, car-sharing are evolving as potential business models to optimize miles driven to cover the cost of the autonomous vehicles. Hence, AV companies are testing out Robo-Taxis, and ride-hailing services are promising to replace human drivers to get to autonomous shared-ride vehicles.

What is the consumer feeling about this?

The most important business driver impacting autonomous vehicle adoption is consumer trust. Is the consumer's sense of ownership being lulled by shared car options so that when the car becomes fully autonomous, consumers will be ready for them? What is actually the key factor in enabling this transition?

In my opinion, ride sharing is a sticky customer experience design built using data powering Artificial Intelligence. It is too naive to assume that consumers are driven only by price and will blindly adopt Autonomous Vehicles with shared ride-sharing options. Price and convenience are key drivers. But, we as people are complex beings with many emotions that affect our adoption of technology solutions.

Designing for Shared Mobility Experience

A shared space brings with it the social burden of sharing a space with other people. In ride-sharing, we are sharing the car space with strangers. If the car becomes a co-working space we bring expectations of office social relationships to the small inside space of an autonomous vehicle.

From Automated Buildings to Autonomous Vehicles

The good news is that we have decades of experience building shared spaces with buildings and automating buildings is bringing us closer to a glimpse of what a shared mobility space in an AV will look like.

Ken Sinclair joined Sudha Jamthe as a guest at her weekly Wednesday Live Q&A on YouTube to talk about shared spaced in Automated Buildings.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]Office buildings are designed and have adapted to the human social networks that evolve and drive our productivity, friendships, mentorships and office politics. Public buildings such as  a shopping mall or movie theatre or church and temple have each evolved with their own set of social rules over the years. As buildings became automated, they first focused on the efficiency of energy-saving and digitized for security and convenience. Slowly over the years, buildings started adapting to the human. An example of this is offices switching to open spaces with kiosks for privacy allowing for the balance of introverts and extroverts to work together in a team.  As Artificial Intelligence and machine learning are used in buildings to optimize for the human occupants, AI is learning the social segmentation of humans and their preferences and the right way to co-exist with each other in different social constructs. We have built decades of experience of creating shared space in offices, malls, theatres, and mastered these social constructs and the many human personas. In fact, as we built websites and brought commerce online, we are in infancy to bring the human social fabric from buildings to their online retail presence. Initially website navigation was thought of as creating a new set of web design standards. Slowly it is evolving to bring social behaviour of people. So Netflix is recreating the living room by allowing users to watch movies together while physically being remote. Teens are doing social shopping by sharing pictures of clothes they try on using mobile apps.

We need to stop and look at buildings to understand what we have learned in translating the human social interaction so that we can capture it and bring it elsewhere like the Autonomous Vehicle.

Why move the shared space learning from Buildings to Cars?

As Ken Sinclair said at the Weekly Wednesday Live, we are going to move from the building to the car, and the AI is going to go with us seamlessly. That is good and bad news. The good news is that the AI will bring the social nuances of buildings to the car and back to other buildings as it carries our mobile context with us. The bad news is that AI is full of biases and is being designed as if we have no learning to knowledge transfer from buildings.

When we design shared spaces for ride-sharing, we can look at office building design of open spaces and quiet private areas and design a similar shared experience in the car.


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