By the 20th century, as automobiles became symbolic

By the early 20th century, the evolution of
automotive design had begun to reshape human mobility needs about convenience
and comfort (Damiani, Deregibus and Andreone, 2009; Spinney, Reimer and Pinch, 2017). With the
production of the Ford Model T in 1908, commoditised and affordable automobiles
became widely available for more people (Eckermann, 2001). From the late 1920s
onwards, automotive design started to be developed as a separate discipline
from general Industrial Design, which is the process of designing and
manufacturing a product in quantity (Sparke, 2002). Automotive design has
evolved alongside interplay between different parts of automobiles such as
engineering, performance and form (Sparke, 2002). In the 20th
century, as automobiles became symbolic icons of upper-class status, elegant
design, styling and aesthetics became key aspects of the automobile design
process (Inserra, 2017). This was reflected in experimentation with multi-coloured
exteriors in the 1950s. In the 1980s, interior design and ergonomics began to
be taken more seriously, as well as new concerns with safety and fuel
efficiency (Inserra, 2017). The technical specifications of the new models of
cars, which upgraded their performance, have also been a primary focus of the
competition among automotive manufacturers (Spinney, Reimer and Pinch, 2017).
This is also reflected in the shift in the words used to describe the most
important attributes of cars in the 20th century, from words like
‘distinctive’, ‘elegant’, and ‘sportive’ to ‘safe’, ‘friendly’ and
‘environmental compatibility’ (Damiani, Deregibus and Andreone, 2009).

In the beginning of the 21st century, the
proliferation of computing and digital technology accelerated the growth of the
Internet and mobile technology (Digital Preservation Management, 2015). With
the evolution of advanced digital features in the automobile, the concept of
‘in-car connectivity’ was introduced in the 21st century (Damiani,
Deregibus and Andreone, 2009). The focus of automotive research has also
started to shift, requiring interdisciplinary approaches towards driving
experience (Spinney, Reimer and Pinch, 2017).

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1.2 New Digital Technologies
and Trends

The automotive industry, triggered by new digital technologies, has transformed
rapidly (Barra, 2016). With the benefit of GPS technologies, the introduction
of GM’s OnStar system in 1996, which enabled automobiles to be linked to
information streams and services, opened up the new concept of connected
automobiles to enhance the driving experience (Nobel, 2013). Safety services, such as live concierge services in
emergency situations, began to be available over the phone, with sensors
embedded into the vehicle (Grabianowski,
2009). By the mid-2000s, the rapid growth of smartphones expanded the
capabilities of connectivity, introducing infotainment applications within the
car (Massy, 2007). Access to
any entertainment content through the driver’s ‘brought-in’ phone within the
car has amplified drivers’ in-vehicle experience (Microsoft News Center, 2012). Connected
vehicles have evolved beyond the advanced integration of digital technologies
into automobiles – they can now communicate and share data not only with smart
devices but also with infrastructure, in which multiple sensors are embedded (Ninan et al., 2015). McKinsey (2013) has
forecasted that the number of Internet-connected automobiles will rise on
average by 30 percent a year until 2020, while the number of traditional
automobiles will only increase four percent a year on average in the same
period. One in five automobiles will wirelessly connect to the network by 2020
(Davidson, 2015), so that various network-based services, such as Internet
radio, information, entertainment and driver-assistance apps, will be available
within automobiles.


With the growth of in-car connectivity, automated driving
is considered to be one of the major potential shifts in the automotive
industry, due to its estimated huge impact on economy and society, as well as on
automotive technological developments itself (Milakis, Arem and Wee, 2017). The
annual economic and social benefit of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs)
could be approximately ?£51 billion, generating over 30,000
jobs by 2030 (KPMG, 2015) (Figure 1). It could impact on growth in the GDP
and prevent serious accidents in the UK. It is estimated that the market for CAVs in the UK will be worth £28bn by
2035, capturing 3% of the £907bn global market (Transport Systems
Catapult, 2017). In addition, the recent forecasting has estimated that, by
2027, all UK produced vehicles will have at least conditional automated
technologies, and this is estimated to progressively reach 25% penetration of
full automation by 2030 (KPMG, 2015).


Figure 1 Economic and social impact of connected and
autonomous vehicles (adapted from KPMG, 2015).

The evolution of the connected car and rapid developments of automated
driving has shaped the role of the automobile from that of a ‘passive transport
machine’ for moving from point A to B, to that of a ‘smart object’ (Eichler,
Schroth, and Eberspächer, 2006). The concept of ‘automobile’ is said to have
shifted from hardware to software, and from object to experience (Rousseau,
2015). Research claims that advances in digital devices have enhanced mobility,
adding multiple purposes such as communication, entertainment, leisure and
business (Moore, 2012). As a consequence, people’s attitudes towards automobile
ownership and travel have changed (Moore, 2012; McKinsey & Company, 2013).
Due to the frequent use of digital devices during transit, automobiles no
longer appear to be perceived as a remote space in people’s lives (Gellatly et
al., 2010). The term ‘automotive habitat’ has on occasion been used to indicate
the modern automobile’s role as a socially interactive environment (Gkatzidou,
Giacomin and Skrypchuk, 2016).  

Rising new target group in the vehicle market have massively influenced
the shifts in the automotive industry (Koushik and Mehl, 2015). Millennials,
who were born between 1977 and 1994
(Williams and Page, 2011), have become the fastest growing buyer segment
(Kurylko, 2017). According to data from J.D Power and Associates’ Power
Information Network, last year, 4.1 million vehicles were sold to millennials
in the United States and it is predicted that they are likely to represent
around 40 percent of the U.S. new-vehicle market by 2020 (Kurylko, 2017). There is a major difference in attitudes towards
automobiles between the baby boomers who were born between 1946 and 1964
(Williams and Page, 2011) and millennials. While for the baby boomer
generation, owning a car was regarded as a symbol of identity expressing
status, millennials have more pragmatic perspectives on consumption (Warton,
2017). This is shown in the phrase ‘Rent, Stream, and Experience’ (Bradshaw,
2014), which encapsulates the preferences of millennials – the ability to experience
in a way that fulfils their desires matters to millennials rather than owning
goods (Niewiadomski and Anderson, 2017).


The shift towards
human experience from functional needs in automotive design (see Figure 2) suggests
a direction for future automotive design.


Figure 2 Automotive Design Evolution (adapted from UVM,


As expressed in the phrase, ‘We don’t just use technology; we live with it’ (McCarthy and
Wright, 2004), an automobile is deeply, emotionally and intellectually embedded
in day-to-day life. A deep understanding of human experience (Norman, 2013) is
required to capture how positively people remember their engagement with automobiles.
As it is impossible to design the experience itself, which is a subjective
value, the main focus should be designing experience scaffolds on which people can
have their own pleasant experience in automotive context. Due to its personal
dependent nature (Kim, 2015), experience can only be designed through a deep understanding
of a story shaped by individual’s emotions, thoughts and actions within a context
(Dewey, 1980; Desmet and Hekkert, 2007; Hassenzahl, 2010).



         1.3 The
Role of Emotion

For designing
a pleasant experience, understanding human emotions is one of the most significant
components (McCarthy and
Wright (2004; Desmet
and Hekkert, 2007).

Emotion plays an integral role in various aspects of human experience
that interconnects human thoughts, attitudes and behaviours (Gomez, Popovic and
Blackler, 2011; Hanington, 2017). According to
Epstein (1994), while
rational system of processing information in humans is driven by logic, the experiential
system of processing information is driven by emotions. Psychologists have proven
that, when humans have an experience, their emotional system triggers their
thoughts and actions (Nass et al., 2005). Therefore, it is impossible to view
emotion as an entity that is independent of cognitive processing or physical
interaction (Hanington, 2017). The consideration of emotions is therefore paramount
to creating pleasurable and positive experiences for people (Gkouskos, Chen,

In the 1980s, emotion appeared implicitly in research into aspects of
product meaning, semantics and enjoyable experiences (Csikszentmihalyi 1981;
Krippendorff and Butter, 1984). The holistic human view of design and the
recognition of emotion gradually became apparent in the field of ‘user
experience’, a term first coined by Norman in 1995. Subsequently, the emergence
of complex consumer electronics technology shifted the primary focus in the
early human-computer interaction (HCI) field from functional views of
technology to the emotional impact of interaction with technology products
(Hanington, 2017). Emotional experience has continuously been perceived and accepted
as a critical aspect for designs to successfully take into account human needs
and desires (Jordan 2000; Picard and Wexelblat, 2002; Hanington, 2017).

Previous studies in design have highlighted the
importance of emotion by suggesting major elements that can impact on emotional experience. Jordan (2000) proposes four pleasures – the physical,
psychological, sociological, and ideological – that can contribute to emotional
experience. According to his theory (Jordan, 2000), the emotional benefits from
the four pleasures can be fulfilled based on both functionality and usability,
which are people’s most basic expectations from a product. Gomez, Popovic and Bucolo (2004) suggest
critical factors that can compose emotional experience: user, artefact,
activity and context. Figure 4 illustrates that the interaction between a human
and a product is mediated by the context, which forms the overall experience.
It also suggests that emotions related to each activity or task performed by
the individual within a context can influence the overall experience.

Figure 4
User-artefact-activity within context forms experience (adapted from Gomez,
Popovic and Bucolo, 2004).


significance of emotional experience has been demonstrated in the complex
in-car driving context through the use of advanced digital technologies.
Drivers are likely to be influenced by various pieces of information from
digital technologies, which affect their emotional state, with possible impacts
on behaviour and safety (Foen 2012). Research (Lajunen and Parker 2001; Foen
2012) suggests that drivers are more likely to make risky decisions when
negatively affected by emotions such as anger or frustration, potentially
leading to accidents. Beyond issues of driving performance and driving safety,
Sheller (2003) argues for the importance of emotional responses towards
determining an individual’s car purchases, driving habits and lifestyle
choices. For the purpose of building a strong relationship with new potential
buyers – such as millennials fulfilling their needs and desires – this research focuses on the
systematic investigation and adaption of an appropriate design approach
focusing on emotion.


The Role of Context: Scenarios

In order to ultimately uncover meanings, desires
and needs, this research was guided by, and is designed, according to the human
centred design principle – starting with the lower levels of the values in the
pyramid (Giacomin, 2014) – and then into a person’s life as it relates to
automotive experience. With respect to the appropriateness of tools in this
research, the following criteria were considered:

to capture
human needs and requirements that involve emotions as well as physical,
sociological and environmental aspects to an automobile

illustrate human experience in the form of a story from a person’s point of

A design scenario is considered to be the most
appropriate tools for this research. The use of a scenario for design can
provide more opportunities to investigate a person’s day-to-day life through a
story that explores the experience of a product or service from a person’s
point of view (Goodwin, 2010). As the story illustrates an overall experience
that can embrace events, situations, activities, and interaction between people
and an artefact (Carroll, 2000), and emotions play a fundamental role in human experience
Popovic and Blackler, 2011; Hanington, 2017), it may
ultimately contribute to unveiling meanings and needs within various contexts that
involve emotional aspects.

In the automotive domain, however, scenarios have frequently been used
for testing automotive systems, which perform highly functional tasks related
to driver and vehicle performance (Burnett, 2009; Stevens and Burnett, 2014).
Typical automotive scenarios provide traffic and environmental conditions and
driving context to evaluate the functions and performance of all specifications
in a particular situation (Safespot, 2006). A number of automotive studies have
applied scenarios for system performance testing, such as pre-collision systems
(Chien et al., 2014) or embedded systems integration (Davis, Patron and Lane,
2007). However, concerns have been voiced regarding whether existing automotive
scenarios help to answer automotive design questions, which are emotional,
psychological or sociological in nature (Gkatzidou, Giacomin and Skrypchuk,
2016). Further, it has been noted (Gkouskos, Normark and Lundgren, 2014) that
current standardised automotive scenarios seem to be of little benefit to the
design of automotive products, systems or services, due to their strong
technical and task-based focus. Although a consideration of emotional aspects
has been highlighted as being part of the success of any product and service
design, including those of an automobile (Dupre? et al., 2012; Gkouskos and
Chen, 2012), such aspects have been considered to be less important in
automotive scenarios.

The available standardised design scenarios for automotive design involving
various human emotional aspects does not adequately fulfil the expectations and
growing demand for digital connectivity, or manage the challenges of a complex
automotive environment. Therefore, further research investigating people’s life
stories that trigger emotional responses in the automotive context is required.
Awareness of the importance and current limitations of design scenarios in the
field of automotive design motivates this research investigation. Through this
research, the human centred design approach will be better able to support the automotive
field, facilitate its uptake by automotive practitioners for testing or evaluating
automotive products, system and service concepts, and inform the design of affective
automotive scenarios.


1.5 Research Questions

The research described in this thesis was motivated by the belief that
human-focused automotive scenarios can be used to answer automotive design
questions that involve emotional,
psychological or sociological aspects. Some of the key research questions involved are:

What are the key components of design scenarios?

can a scenario be developed in a complete and rigorous manner?

What are the affective scenarios that describe
emotional experience in various automotive contexts?

How can automotive affective scenarios be implemented
to test an automotive product, system or product concept?

The aim of the research is to develop automotive design scenarios that
involve humans’ emotional responses. In order to achieve the aim and to answer
the key research questions, the following research objectives were formulated:

(OB1) To identify key requirements of automotive
scenarios by identifying human desires regarding automotive experience in a
complex digital environment;

(OB2) To provide an operational definition of scenarios and a scenario
development process through the analysis and synthesis of the relevant
literature reviews on scenarios;


(OB3) To develop automotive affective scenarios related to current
automotive contexts based on the analysis of emotional responses; and


(OB4) To evaluate the research outcomes, using the proposed scenarios to
test an automotive concept.


1.6 Thesis Structure

research in this thesis was designed and conducted in three phases: definition,
development and evaluation. Each phase was the subject of a major study. The
first phase includes a literature review of the concept of scenarios and
preliminary interviews on human desires in an automotive context. The second
phase includes preliminary workshops on automotive scenarios, and wide-scale
online and face-to-face inquiries in a controlled simulator context. The third
phase of the thesis contains an evaluation of the research outcome, discusses
research limitations and suggests potential applications for future automotive

thesis comprises nine chapters that describe the research process undertaken to
formulate the automotive affective design scenarios and their evaluation.
Chapters 1 through 9 are summarised as follows:

·      Chapter 1
provides an overview of the historical trends in automotive design, new digital
technology and trends, design approaches and human centred design tools for
accommodating new trends and the importance of design scenario towards the
automotive design. Research questions, aim and objectives and an overview of
the thesis structure are addressed.

·      Chapter 2
provides an extensive literature review of scenario history, typology,
development process and definitions of scenario. Furthermore, an operational
definition of scenario is introduced through the analysis and synthesis of
existing definitions of scenario and results of emotional responses from
scenario identification activities.

·      Chapter 3
identifies the key requirements in automotive design through a preliminary
semi-structured interview study with 32 participants, which explored human
desires in an automotive context, particularly focusing on digital device
integrations. It implies the importance of considering various human aspects,
including emotional factors in automotive design, providing the rationale for
the conducted studies.

Chapter 4 reports on a preliminary scenario
identification study in two workshops investigating either driving or
non-driving scenarios. Two independent preliminary workshops were carried out,
with seven participants who were automotive professionals and seven participants
in the non-automotive group, in order to structure the main scenario
identification activity.


Chapter 5
reports on a wide-scale online study, in a uncontrolled setting, in which data
was collected from 211 participants regarding individual’s car stories focusing
on something that occurred that made them respond emotionally. All responses
from participants were based on long-term memory related to their cars as a
driver or as a passenger, without prompting of context and state.


Chapter 6 reports on a face-to-face inquiry
in a controlled simulator context, in which 34 participants gave individual car
stories that involved their emotions. Considering the benefit of context and
state dependent memory, a controlled simulator operating in a pre-planned driving
context that could evoke either positive or negative emotions was required.

Chapter 7 provides an integration of themes from
the scenario identification studies and exemplary scenarios of each of the main


Chapter 8 provides an evaluation of the research
outcome achieved from automotive practitioners.


·      Chapter 9
summarises the key findings against the research questions, describes research
contributions and limitations, and suggests further work. ?


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