Part of the answer came from the company’s decade-long testing and validation history.
Yet the UX design was also crucial to building trust. Without a driver to say hello, reassure passengers they’re headed in the right direction or give a nod to a pedestrian hurrying across a crosswalk, fully driverless cars need to communicate their awareness to passengers to put them at ease.
For Waymo, Powell said, that begins with a rich interface display, clear affordances and voice feedback. We spoke with him and Niedermeyer about how experience design can inspire the ultimate measure of trust in technology: putting your life in its hands.
Translating what the car can “see” and what its intent is, to the visual interface, is a key aspect of building trust, Powell told me.