Side Viewer: an intelligent cockpit design for elderly drivers with vision limiations

I teamed up with Violet Zhang on this project and built this intelligent cockpit experience together. My design interests lie in the area of intelligent cockpit in-car experience design, while Violet hopes to discover design solutions for the aging population. We combined our interests and did this exciting project.

Video demo of Side Viewer

What is an Intelligent Cockpit?

An automotive intelligent cockpit offers users a personalized interaction experience with a single core, multiple screens, multiple systems, voice recognition, gesture control, etc.

What is Side Viewer?

This automotive intelligent cockpit interaction helps older adult drivers with vision limitations travel safely. Older adult drivers have vision limitations that affect their driving safety. We designed this experience when they turn on the turn signal switch, and they will be able to see the side view of the car and know if it is safe to turn from the UI. When it is safe to change the lane, a green indicator will show on the view and voice directing the driver to go. When turning is unsafe, there will be a red interface showing and a voice reminding you not to turn now. This enhances the driver’s side view.
This experience is meant to happen in a car, but we present it in class with a big screen as the front window view, a computer screen as the screen display, and a steering wheel with turn signal switches.

What inspired us?

The reading that inspired us to do this work is What Can a Body Do by Sara Hendren. She claims that all technologies are assistive technologies, and human bodies are limited. People have tools that help them in their daily lives. Indeed the tools are body extensions. For example, chopsticks are the extension of our hands, and a ladder is an extension of our legs. In this project, we would like to take the Side Viewer as an extension of two eyes, which helps older adults with vision limitation drive much more accessible.

Who is it for?

Here is our persona for Bob.


In this project, we design both the digital interface of the screen display and the physical prototype. In our digital display, we recorded videos and masked the designed interfaces in Premier Pro.

For the physical prototype, we used the Makey Makey kit as our major circuit and coded in Scratch to make it work. We connected the wire to each turn switch on the steering wheel, and code to show the corresponding videos.

Testing Makey Makey circuit in our studio
Codes in Scratch

Final Delivery

Presentation in class


What Can a Body Do

The 8 Challenges Of Aging

 Aging Issues: Older Drivers,

3 replies on “Side Viewer: an intelligent cockpit design for elderly drivers with vision limiations”

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