Accepted paper:

How do we learn to know a self-driving car? A pedagogical design anthropology approach to human - technology interaction


Vaike Fors (Halmstad university)
Sarah Pink (Monash University )
Thomas Lindgren (Halmstad University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper demonstrates how a pedagogical design anthropological approach introduces a way of understanding use of self-driving vehicles beyond interactional accounts, by focusing on how technologies become meaningful in the contexts of mundane everyday life circumstances.

Paper long abstract:

How will autonomous driving (AD) features change how people will relate to, and act in and with cars? To understand these and similar questions, research within human-computer interaction (HCI) is concerned with how people will react and interact with the autonomous driving features while driving a self-driving car, and how these features can be designed to be perceived as both easy to use and useful. In this paper we demonstrate how a pedagogical design anthropological approach can push this agenda further by introducing a way of understanding use of AD that accounts for how technologies become meaningful in the contexts of the mundane everyday life circumstances in which they are actually used. This approach entails understanding use of technology beyond the moment of human-technology interaction, as a process in which experiential ways of knowing take over from rational action, and meaning becomes generated through the ongoing use of technologies in everyday life processes. In the context user experience of AD, this translates into a focus on how people learn to use AD features, and to imagine possible experiences of AD in ways that are situated in the mundane routines of everyday life. We will draw on our ethnographic research into everyday life experiences and expectations of AD cars undertaken between 2016-18, to demonstrate how people need these technologies to become part of their everyday lives, and subsequently need to learn to use them in order to accomplish everyday goals.

panel P09
A new anthropology of automobility