Do We Still Need UI for Self-Driving Cars?
If you haven't got a driving license, think twice. Car vendors are rushing to
get self-driving cars on the road. Once they can substitute the "autos",
chauffeur as a profession will not be needed so much any more. Instead of
learning driving, please consider alternatives, for example, spending your time
in getting self-driving experience more comfortable.
The research area of Dr Pierre Akiki is engineering model-driven self-adaptive
user interfaces for enterprise software systems, at the crux of software
engineering and human-computer interaction. In less than three years, he has
published top journal papers in ACM Computing Surveys, IEEE Transactions on
Software Engineering, as well as top conferences in HCI and Software
Engineering. Don't worry if you have no time or interests in reading the
details of his publications, in a nutshell, the entire PhD study can be
summarised into one research question: how to model self-adaptive user
interfaces and use the model to simplify human computer interactions while
adapting the interface to best suite different usage contexts?
Software systems used to compete for all-inclusive bloat features.
Self-adaptive user interfaces are the contrary. By leaving out unnecessary
options automatically, and bringing them back only when needed, software
systems become so much more usable. Our engineering practices have demonstrated
the improved usability for large-scale software systems for the enterprises
with very little execution overhead.
Let's imagine the user interface of a self-driving car. It shall be much
simpler than a traditional car. Wait a second, isn't it fully automated so
there is no more need for human interventions, notwithstanding the human
interfaces? Wrong! Once you are on the driving seat, you would not be idle! As
long as you demand the car to do something, something functional to satisfy
you, you would need such an interface!
However, you used to concentrate once sitting on the driving seat, otherwise
you will be responsible for any incident caused by your distractions. With
self-driving software in charge of safety, you can do more: making phone calls,
checking emails, surfing internet, playing games, writing blogs, and so on.
Applying Pierre's principle, "less is more", how do we simplify these tasks,
then? In other words, when life is getting more and more complex, how can you
trust a user interface to take over mundane tasks in managing the life
complexity? So that you have a bit more time on thinking, focusing on the flow
that requiring your focus.
Sitting inside self-driving cars, we can ask a number of research questions.
For example, are there different contexts-of-use that require the same UI to
adapt? What kind of bloatness exists in the UIs of self-driving cars, and
according to what contexts-of-use should we reduce this bloat to achieve
simplicity? Could we use the profile of each passenger in the cloud? Could
there be a more natural mode of interaction, e.g., using a voice chat modality,
rather than touch screen? This poses the question of whether UI adaptation
applies, and if so, what kind of adaption would be required? Probably the car
could pose the questions in a different way depending on the age of the
passenger as well...
This list of questions is not exhaustive. What we need to think and
act now is to advance the user interfaces research so that it is ahead of the
era when self-driving becomes the default option. Simplifying your life
journey, it may help you achieve more.
- Pierre A. Akiki, Arosha K. Bandara, Yijun Yu: Visual Simple Transformations: Empowering End-Users to Wire Internet of Things Objects. ACM Trans. Computer-Human Interfaces. accepted (2017)
- Pierre A. Akiki, Arosha K. Bandara, Yijun Yu: Engineering Adaptive Model-Driven User Interfaces. IEEE Trans. Software Eng. 42(12): 1118-1147 (2016)
- Pierre A. Akiki, Arosha K. Bandara, Yijun Yu: Adaptive Model-Driven User Interface Development Systems. ACM Comput. Surv. 47(1): 9:1-9:33 (2014)
- Pierre A. Akiki, Arosha K. Bandara, Yijun Yu: Integrating adaptive user interface capabilities in enterprise applications. ICSE 2014: 712-723
- Pierre A. Akiki, Arosha K. Bandara, Yijun Yu: RBUIS: simplifying enterprise application user interfaces through engineering role-based adaptive behavior. EICS 2013: 3-12
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