Interaction with an electrically powered vehicle stood at the forefront of the test phase with the BMWi3. Not just the driving behaviour of the vehicle was tested, but also the driving experience for driver and passengers. In addition, the BMWi3 impressively shows what solutions are thinkable for interiors when the vehicle is designed with an electric motor from the get go. In order to highlight the electronic cars potentials and risks, we also visited the podium discussion “RuhrAuto”. Towards the end, the car was modified in such a way as to completely obscure the driver, allowing for a more convincing simulation of an autonomous vehicle. The reactions were surprisingly positive. The guests gained confidence in the vehicle and driver so quickly that the view of traffic was obscured during the second part, putting into focus the ability to surf the internet with the help of a projector.
In the second test phase with the BMWi3, possible application scenarios were played through in a closed passenger cabin. The focus here was on the review of the spatial conditions and handling of digital media, such as the interaction with screens or smart devices as well as carrying out every day tasks such as eating and drinking.
Just as in the first test phase with the BMWi3, driving without a visibility of traffic or the driver proved to be very uncomplicated. Since only a short period of acclimatisation was needed for the vehicle, or rather the driver, to inspire confidence in the participants, the autonomous vehicle can be used as a basis for the pending concept phase.