Skip to main content

Intelligent Mobility (MA)

Daniel Vorley

I’m a forward-thinking design graduate with an interest in practical solutions for sustainable design and human-centred strategies for novel technologies. I lead with empathy, design with an open mind and deliver with powerful and emotional narratives. 

Prior to my time at the RCA I was in Falmouth on the South Coast of Cornwall, studying for my undergraduate degree in Sustainable Product Design. It was here that I started my design career with a conscious focus on economic, environmental and socially sustainable design; an ideology which I continue to maintain at the core of my design practice. Alongside my education I've had professional experience as a Design Researcher and Visualiser, finding viable opportunities for brands through forecasting, expert interviews and qualitative user research.  

I'm currently interning at a startup looking to the future of immersive and accessible indoor cycling. Being part of such a young company is giving me ample responsibility, including experience in design for manufacture and working documentation for engineering teams as we refine the prototype for viable production. 

My skills range through the entire design process, from the direction and analysis of contextual and validating research to iterative concept design, 3D modelling, animation and VR.  






Degree Details

School of Design

Intelligent Mobility (MA)

Over the past two years I've had the chance to work closely with global organisations such as British Airways, Ford of Europe and
Porsche Design. I’ve been thrown into the spotlight to explore and propose genuine opportunities, pitching directly to Design Directors and CEOs. I've worked in multidisciplinary teams from Textiles and Fashion Designers to Service and Design Researchers showing me the importance of diverse backgrounds to form the foundations of an open-minded and innovative team. 

My transport design work revolves around the user, understanding their experience within a unique context and designing the vehicle
environment and system around them. The integration of technological disruptors is key, navigating an future that involves electrification, shared mobility and autonomy. 

Hence, my Final Project aims to begin the largely undiscussed topic of trust in what currently feels like a very in-human technology.  

Autonomous Trust Intro Video
There are some fundamental challenges in facilitating the implementation of autonomous travel, not least is understanding and embedding this disruptive technology as a key part of the design scenario to ensure its use does not create distrust or miscommunication among users. This project proposes a new way for intuitive communication to be used to build trust in autonomous vehicles through an adaptive interface.

The Complexities of Human Dialogue — From posture to our tone of voice, there is a spectrum of intricacies which dictate the way we communicate. These are very difficult to mimic in an AI driver.

Communication in Concept Cars — Many of these communication methods fail to stick because they assume that either human communication or traditional screen-based communication will suffice.

Driver-Pedestrian Interaction Observations — From looking at the way pedestrians interact with vehicles when crossing the road, it is obvious that the clearest understanding is achieved when each person can see the other.

My research began by looking at our trust in drivers and pilots today, conducting surveys and interviews to understand the building blocks that build interpersonal trust. The response was communication - the same way during turbulence a pilot can put passengers at ease, constant and dialogic communication is a sure way to build a trustworthy relationship. However the complexity of human dialogue makes it difficult for us to have any serious interaction with an anthropomorphic AI (similar to the way we interact with Siri or Alexa), hence the concept cars that have winking eyes or a human voice have failed to gain meaningful traction. The interaction must instead be non-human but intuitive and adaptive to any given scenario.
DTI Neuron Motif

DTI Neuron Motif — In the same way that Diffusion Tensor Imaging 3-dimensionally maps brain activity, the neural network of the vehicle's AI can also be visualised live.

Particle Communication Iteration

Particle Communication Iteration — I worked on testing what could be communicated from different patterns of activity, validated through live feedback.

Key Form — The vehicle's aesthetic design was to aid the interface, keeping it clean in form and keeping focus on the passenger and interface.

This project's research was deeply integrated with the design development. As insights were found through observations, surveys, interviews and feedback the design of the interface was iterated to suit. From the starting point of brain imaging the interface was designed into the vehicle so as to be seamless in context. 3D modelling was key to visualise the form of the vehicle itself, while Blender and Unity provided live feedback for rapid development.

An Autonomous Space to Inhabit — Driverless vehicles will be more than just the cars we have today, they will be spaces to work, sleep and live.

Intuitive Communication for Passenger and Pedestrian — A driver is visible to both passenger and pedestrian, so this AI intelligence must remain an integral part of both exterior and interior.

Building Trust in an Autonomous Driver — The holographic display will be a live visual of the neural network from the vehicle's AI - an active representation of the car's "thought process".

Clean Form with a Focus on the Interface — Stripping back the visual clutter and drawing focus to the holographic display around the perimeter of the cabin.

A human-centred design approach makes the vehicle's interface visible to both passenger and pedestrian, the same way a driver is. This connects people through the same intuitive notification of awareness while maintaining the separation between interior and exterior spaces. A form with minimal clutter and a visual focus on the interface which projects a holographic stream of particles around the perimeter of the cabin. This stems from HUDs we see today but instead produces a live visualisation of the neural network of the vehicle, with each change in the stream representing a change in activity as the vehicle moves on its journey.
Autonomous Trust - the experience
Experience the interaction for yourself in an interactive journey. Look around to understand the vehicle's communication in context on an autonomous, out-of-city journey. A virtual reality experience allows the concept to be tested in a fully immersive environment and from the safety and accessibility of your own home or studio.

Previous Student

Next Student

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
Royal College of Art
Registered Office: Royal College of Art,
Kensington Gore, South Kensington,
London SW7 2EU
RCA™ Royal College of Art™ are trademarks
of the Royal College of Art