Breaking Boundaries: Building FF 91’s User Experience (II)
Part two of a four-part series detailing the creation of FF91’s user experience. Part one explored Seamless Entry and Intelligent Lighting, and part two introduces Kinetic Vehicle Controls.
FF 91’s Third Internet Living Space is built around the notion that “every seat is a great seat,” where each seat is a highly customizable zone dedicated to the passenger sitting in that zone. This new breed of seating environment necessitated the creation of both a seamless method to log into any zone in any FF vehicle and a robust vehicle controls suite that gives each passenger the ability to customize their zone to their preferences.
KINETIC VEHICLE CONTROLS
One of my favorite movies is Disney’s “Flight of the Navigator.” To this day, it remains an endearing take on what controlling an alien spacecraft might look like. The spaceship had no discernable controls throughout its spartan cockpit, and it was only when the ship’s pilot, David, made a request to the ship’s artificial intelligence that controls would present themselves. If David wanted to take command of the ship’s movement, the AI would raise steering columns out of the ship’s hull, and the columns would retract back into the hull when David no longer needed control of the ship. It was this futuristic image that was my primary inspiration for the look and feel of FF 91’s Kinetic Vehicle Controls.
In most vehicles, passengers interact with physical controls to operate critical functions: handles to open doors, buttons to adjust seats, and switches to turn lights on and off. Our team veered away from these conventions and set out to create a unique and intuitive digital vehicle controls suite that bridges the gap between the physical and digital.
As Product Manager for the vehicle controls domain, including climate, doors, energy, lighting, and seats, our team was able to define not just the look and feel of the user interface (UI) controlling each of these domains, but also the functionality and behavior of each physical element controlled by the UI. One example is the seat recline function. By holistically defining the speed of movement for FF 91’s seatbacks, how far the seatbacks travel per second of holding an onscreen button and articulating the 3D perspective of the seat models in the UI, we were able to create a cohesive experience that unifies digital inputs with physical outputs.
No matter which FF 91 you’re in, and no matter which zone you’re sitting in, your cloud-based FFID profile brings your preferences with you everywhere you go. Each seat in FF 91 has a dedicated facial recognition camera to log you into your FFID. After logging into your zone, your FFID preferences, including app library, curated media, seating position, Individual Climate Zones, and ambient light colors are instantly loaded in your zone:
Once you’ve logged into your FFID in any of FF 91’s four zones, you have access to your own personal Zone Display dedicated to customization of your zone. These displays are the command center for all adjustments that affect your zone, including temperature, fan speed, seat position, massage, and Individual Sound Zone volume:
Energy is an ever-present thought on the minds of EV drivers. This is why we wanted to provide our users with clear, concise access to critical information about FF 91’s energy status.
Users first encounter FF 91’s energy status on the exterior Intelligent Lighting Array, where vibrant animations communicate charging states to users outside FF 91, including cable connected, charging scheduled, charging in progress, and charging completed:
Once inside FF 91, the Energy Controls screen gives the driver complete control over all functions necessary to maintain FF 91’s energy state, including opening and closing the charge port, initiating charging, enabling Energy Saver Mode, finding nearby charging stations, and viewing previous charging session details:
For drivers keen on hypermiling with FF 91’s 130 kWh battery pack, our Efficiency History screen gives drivers a detailed overview of how their driving style, climate settings, exterior temperatures, and elevation has affected their efficiency over time:
We previously detailed how Seamless Entry welcomes users inside of FF 91 and prepares each seating zone to their preferences. Conversely, Seamless Exit prepares FF 91 for your departure. After any changes you’ve made to your FFID preferences are uploaded to FFCloud, FF 91 prepares to enter its sleep cycle, and a lighting sequence is displayed across the Intelligent Lighting Array to signal your departure:
In parts three and four of Breaking Boundaries: Building FF 91’s User Experience, we’ll explore more of Kinetic Vehicle Controls, including Climate, Doors, Lights, Seats, Settings, and Quick Controls.
About the Author
Eric Turano is a Senior Product Manager on FF’s Internet & Artificial Intelligence team. His responsibilities include defining the functional requirements of the Vehicle Controls domain and overseeing its design. At FF, he has filed more than 40 patents relating to vehicle controls and lighting design.